News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Gardiner Expressway Death

Case Number: 06-TCD-018

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TORONTO (9 March, 2006) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has concluded that a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer did not commit any type of criminal offence in relation to the death of a 17-year-old young man.

On January 29, 2006, the young man was seriously injured after he was struck by two motor vehicles on the Gardiner Expressway in the area of Kipling Avenue. He was taken to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on February 3, 2006.

The focus of the SIU investigation was on the extent of police involvement in the events surrounding this youth's death. It determined that at approximately 8:30 p.m. on January 29th, a taxi driver picked up the young man at the corner of College Street and Spadina Avenue. The young man got into the front seat of the cab and asked the driver to take him to Hamilton.

As they traveled westbound on the Gardiner Expressway, the young man became annoyed when the cab driver did not answer his cell phone. He threw the cab driver's phone out the window. For unknown reasons, the youth then attempted to open the taxi door to exit the car, even though it was traveling at highway speed. The cab driver was concerned and stopped quickly on the shoulder of the highway in the area of Islington Avenue. The youth exited the cab and ran onto the highway. The cab driver activated the taxi's emergency lights and asked a passerby to call police.

Prior to the police's arrival, the young man crossed several lanes of westbound traffic. He was struck by a vehicle and knocked to the ground, but was able to get up and jumped over the centre median barrier to the eastbound lanes.

Several officers arrived and positioned their police cruisers along the east and westbound lanes of the highway. At least one of the officers tried to get the attention of the young man as he continued to walk into and across the lanes of traffic.

In the meantime, the subject officer drove onto the median shoulder of the westbound lanes and yelled out the car window to try and get the young man's attention. The youth did not respond and the subject officer positioned his cruiser to block one lane of westbound traffic. A second cruiser also blocked a lane, leaving one lane open.

The youth jumped over the centre barrier again and ran across the westbound lanes. He made it all the way across but then turned and started back again. As he reached the open lane of traffic, he was struck by a westbound car. The car had slowed but was traveling at approximately 80 km/hour at the time of the collision.

Director Cornish concluded that it appeared the youth did not hear the subject officer nor did he even seem to realize that an officer was present as he continued to walk in the traffic. The Director stated, "I am satisfied based upon all of the evidence gathered in this matter that no officer caused or contributed to the tragic and untimely death of this young man. Although the investigation uncovered no evidence to explain why he engaged in such obviously dangerous behaviour that night, it is clear that he did walk in the traffic on one of this nation's busiest highways. It was while the police were trying to stop the flow of that traffic that the fatal impact occurred."

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342