News Release

SIU Concludes Fatal Collision Investigation in Scarborough

Case Number: 06-TVD-014

Other News Releases Related to Case 06-TVD-014

SIU Investigates Fatal Collision in Scarborough

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TORONTO (21 February, 2006) --- James Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer committed a criminal offence in relation to a fatal collision that occurred on January 24, 2006.

The collision occurred when a Toyota Corolla collided with a taxicab at the intersection of Warden Avenue and Lawrence Avenue East. The driver of the Toyota, 39-year-old Paul Burke, died at the scene. Two male passengers in the Toyota suffered serious injuries. The driver of the taxicab was treated for a head injury.

The SIU investigation determined that at about 1:45 a.m. on January 24th, a TPS officer was seated in a marked cruiser and operating a hand-held radar "gun' on Warden Avenue, north of Elsmere Avenue. The officer and his partner saw a Toyota Corolla enter the radar at 107 km/hour in a 60 km/hour zone. The officer immediately activated the cruiser's roof lights and traveled southbound on Warden to stop Mr. Burke. The cruiser got within about 300 metres of the Toyota as they crested a hill. The distance between the cruiser and the Toyota increased and the subject officer decided it was too dangerous to continue the pursuit. He turned off the roof lights, reduced his speed and informed the communications centre of the Toyota's description and travel.
The officer continued to follow the Toyota and watched as the car continued southbound on Warden. The Toyota entered the intersection of Warden and Lawrence Avenues against a red signal light and struck a taxicab that was traveling west on Lawrence. About 20-30 seconds after the collision, the cruiser arrived at the collision scene.

Director Cornish concluded the subject officer was only actively in pursuit of the Toyota for about .8 kilometres. The officer continued to follow the car, at an increasing distance for another 1 kilometre. He stated, "Unfortunately Mr. Burke lost his life in this crash and others were injured. I am satisfied that the officer's driving fell well within the limits prescribed by the criminal law. The officer did nothing to cause or contribute to this tragic crash, other than his duty."

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