SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-TVD-002
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Mandate of the SIU
Under the SIU Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence was committed. If such grounds exist, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the official. Alternatively, in cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director cannot lay charges. Where no charges are laid, a report of the investigation is prepared and released publicly, except in the case of reports dealing with allegations of sexual assault, in which case the SIU Director may consult with the affected person and exercise a discretion to not publicly release the report having regard to the affected person’s privacy interests.
Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019Pursuant to section 34, certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The name of, and any information identifying, a subject official, witness official, civilian witness or affected person.
- Information that may result in the identity of a person who reported that they were sexually assaulted being revealed in connection with the sexual assault.
- Information that, in the opinion of the SIU Director, could lead to a risk of serious harm to a person.
- Information that discloses investigative techniques or procedures.
- Information, the release of which is prohibited or restricted by law.
- Information in which a person’s privacy interest in not having the information published clearly outweighs the public interest in having the information published.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy ActPursuant to section14 (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and
- Information that could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
Pursuant to section 21 (i.e., personal privacy), protected personal information is not included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The names of persons, including civilian witnesses, and subject and witness officials;
- Location information;
- Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and
- Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Other proceedings, processes, and investigationsInformation may also have been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.
A person sustains a “serious injury” for purposes of the SIU’s jurisdiction if they: sustain an injury as a result of which they are admitted to hospital; suffer a fracture to the skull, or to a limb, rib or vertebra; suffer burns to a significant proportion of their body; lose any portion of their body; or, as a result of an injury, experience a loss of vision or hearing.
In addition, a “serious injury” means any other injury sustained by a person that is likely to interfere with the person’s health or comfort and is not transient or trifling in nature.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into serious injuries sustained by a 23-year-old man (“Complainant #1”) and the death of a 67-year-old woman (“Complainant #2”).
Notification of the SIUOn January 1, 2021, at 1:50 p.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) notified the SIU of injuries to Complainant #1 and Complainant #2. 
The TPS advised that on January 1, 2021, at 11:27 a.m., the Subject Official (SO) saw a Mercedes [believed to be operated by Complainant #1] driving erratically northbound on Keele Street. The police officer attempted to stop the vehicle; however, the Mercedes accelerated and continued north. The SO stopped his police cruiser advising the dispatcher he was not pursuing the vehicle. At Sheppard Avenue West and Keele Street, the Mercedes entered the intersection on a red traffic signal colliding with two other vehicles in the intersection.
Numerous involved persons were taken to hospital with various injuries.
The scene was secured by TPS and, due to inclement weather, TPS Traffic Services had begun marking out transient roadway evidence. They also deployed a drone to map the scene. Nothing within the scene was to be moved.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 01/01/2021 at 1:50 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 01/01/2021 at 3:45 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2
Number of SIU Collision Reconstructionists assigned: 1
Affected Persons (aka “Complainants”):Complainant #1 23-year-old male interviewed
Complainant #2 67-year-old female interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainants were interviewed between January 1, 2021 and February 20, 2021.
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Interviewed
CW #6 Interviewed
CW #7 Interviewed
CW #8 Interviewed
CW #9 Interviewed
CW #10 Interviewed
CW #11 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between January 2, 2021, and February 6, 2021.
Subject OfficialsSO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
The subject official was interviewed on January 13, 2021.
Witness OfficialsWO Interviewed
The witness official was interviewed on January 3, 2021. Additionally, the notes from two other officials were received and reviewed.
On January 1, 2021 at 3:50 p.m., forensic investigators arrived at the scene and, at 4:15 p.m., commenced photography of the scene. The scene was Keele Street at Sheppard Avenue. Keele Street travelled in a north and south direction and Sheppard Avenue West travelled in an east and west direction. The intersection was controlled by traffic signals which were inoperative due to collision damage.
Keele Street was a multi-laned roadway with two lanes each for north and south. There were left-hand turn lanes at the intersection. Sheppard Avenue West was a multi-laned roadway with two lanes each for east and west. There were left-hand turn lanes at the intersection. Roadway surfaces were dry and in good repair. Lane markings were clear and visible.
There were three vehicles within the confines of the secured area.
Vehicle 12012 Mercedes M350 SUV, grey. This vehicle was orientated northeast along the west sidewalk of Keele Street approximately 60 metres north of the intersection. The vehicle was inverted and had considerable collision and fire damage.
Figure 2 - The Mercedes M350.
Vehicle 22012 Honda CRV SUV, grey. This vehicle was orientated northeast in the centre northbound lane of Keele Street north of the intersection. There was extensive collision damage to this vehicle.
Figure 3 - The Honda CRV.
Vehicle 32010 Hyundai Elantra, blue. This vehicle was orientated southwest along the centre median of Keele Street north of the intersection. There was extensive collision damage to this vehicle.
Figure 4 - The Hyundai Elantra.
There were several tire marks at the scene originating from a suggested area of impact in the northeast quadrant of the intersection that continued north towards the resting points of all three vehicles.
Photography of the scene and vehicles was completed, and coordinates were collected for a scene drawing.
At 6:10 p.m., the scene and vehicles were released to TPS.
At 6:45 p.m., forensic investigators arrived at TPS Division 12, and were escorted to the rear parking lot to examine the following vehicle involved in this incident.
Vehicle 42019 Ford Explorer Interceptor. This was a marked police cruiser displaying graphics as designed by the TPS. Emergency lighting and siren were installed and found to be operable at the time of examination. The cruiser was photographed. It was noted there was no collision damage to the cruiser that could be attributed to this incident. At 7:05 p.m., the cruiser was released to TPS.
On January 11, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., forensic investigators attended at TPS Fleet and Materials Management. The purpose of the meeting was to complete vehicle examinations of the following vehicles involved in this incident:
Vehicle 1 – 2012 Mercedes Benz;
Vehicle 2 – 2012 Honda CRV; and
Vehicle 3 – 2010 Hyundai Elantra.
The examination was photographed.
Global Positioning System (GPS) / Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) Data – the SO’s cruiserThe GPS / AVL data were captured on January 1, 2021 and revealed the following:
At 11:27:00 a.m., the SO’s police cruiser was heading north on Keele Street doing 75 km/h. The cruiser was south of Rustic Road at 2535 Keele Street;
At 11:27:05 a.m., the police cruiser was doing 72 km/h heading north on Keele Street approaching Rustic Road;
At 11:27:09 a.m., the SO’s cruiser was doing 72 km/h heading north on Keele Street at 2597 Keele Street;
At 11:27:13 a.m., the cruiser was doing 73 km/h heading north at 2622 Keele Street approaching Falstaff Avenue;
At 11:27:18 a.m., the police cruiser was doing 72 km/h northbound on Keele Street approaching Floral Parkway south of Highway 401;
At 11:27:23 a.m., the SO’s cruiser was doing 61 km/h northbound crossing over Highway 401;
At 11:27:29 a.m., the cruiser was doing 38 km/h northbound on Keele Street north of Highway 401 approaching Sir William Hearst Avenue;
At 11:27:33 a.m., the police cruiser was doing 15 km/h headed north on Keele Street at Sir William Hearst Avenue. The cruiser’s roof lights were on;
At 11:27:39 a.m., the SO’s cruiser was doing 25 km/h headed north on Keele Street at the Highway 401 off ramp. The cruiser’s lights and siren were on;
At 11:27:42 a.m., the cruiser was doing 49 km/h northbound on Keele Street with its lights and siren on;
At 11:27:49 a.m., the police cruiser was doing 54 km/h going north on Keele Street approaching Wilson Avenue. The cruiser’s lights were on;
At 11:27:58 a.m., the SO’s cruiser came to a complete stop on Keele Street north of Wilson Avenue. The cruiser’s lights and siren were not on;
At 11:30:15 a.m., the cruiser became mobile doing 16 km/h northbound on Keele Street. No emergency equipment was on; and
At 11:31:22 a.m., the SO’s cruiser made a U-turn on Keele Street heading southbound on Keele Street doing 23 km/h south of Wilson Avenue. The SO continued heading southbound until he arrived at TPS 12 Division at 11:42:15 a.m.
Reconstructionist’s FindingsShortly before 11:30 a.m. January 1, 2021, the SO operated a Ford Explorer as he drove northbound on Keele Street. He had attempted to stop a 2012 Mercedes Benz. The SO discontinued the pursuit and stopped on the east side of Keele Street near Wilson Avenue, some 1.95 kilometres south of Sheppard Avenue West, at 11:27 a.m.
The Mercedes Benz entered the intersection of Sheppard Avenue West at about 158 km/h on a red traffic signal 1.9 kilometres north of where the SO stopped his cruiser. At the same time, Complainant #2, driving her Honda CRV westbound from Sheppard Avenue West at Keele Street, entered the intersection on a green traffic signal. The right front corner of the Mercedes Benz impacted the left front corner of her CRV. The CRV was spun clockwise 450 degrees. The front of the CRV impacted the traffic signal pole in the centre median of Keele Street and came to rest.
The Mercedes rotated counter-clockwise and the right rear corner impacted the right front corner of the Hyundai Elantra, which was stopped facing south in the southbound left-turn lane of Keele Street immediately north of Sheppard Avenue West. This action caused the Mercedes Benz to become airborne and the left front corner impacted the base of a utility pole on the west side of Keele Street. The Mercedes flipped up and came to rest upside down facing northeast on the west sidewalk and boulevard of Keele Street. It then burst into flames a short time after coming to rest.
At no time did the SO’s cruiser come in contact with the Mercedes Benz or the other two vehicles involved in the collision.
Video/Audio/Photographic EvidenceThe SIU searched for and/or obtained audio, video and/or photographic records of relevance, as set out below.
In-car Camera System (ICCS)The video was taken on January 1, 2021 and revealed the following:
11:26:59 a.m. Start of video;
11:27:00 a.m. The SO’s cruiser was northbound on Keele Street about 100 metres south of and approaching Rustic Road;
11:27:02 a.m. The cruiser was at a south stop bar  at Rustic Road;
11:27:14 a.m. The SO’s police cruiser was at the south stop bar of Highway 401 off-ramp (337 metres travelled from Rustic Road);
11:27:30 a.m. The SO’s cruiser travelled 322 metres to Sir William Hearst Avenue and stopped behind a Mercedes Benz ML350 [believed to be driven by Complainant #1]. The cruiser’s roof lights were on;
11:27:31 a.m. Northbound movement commenced by the police cruiser and the Mercedes Benz;
11:27:33 a.m. The SO’s cruiser’s siren horn was activated for less than one second;
11:27:34 a.m. The police cruiser’s wail siren was activated;
11:27:35 a.m. The SO’s cruiser was at a northerly pedestrian crosswalk line of William Hearst Avenue;
11:27:45 a.m. The police cruiser’s wail siren was turned off;
11:27:45 a.m. The cruiser was at a south stop bar of Wilson Avenue (267 metres travelled from northerly pedestrian crosswalk line at Sir William Hearst Avenue);
11:27:47 a.m. The Mercedes Benz had passed a vehicle on the right and was no longer visible;
11:27:55 a.m. The SO’s cruiser stopped on the right side of Keele Street, 93 metres north of the south side stop bar of Wilson Avenue. The cruiser’s emergency lighting was turned off and gear shifter sounds were heard. This was 1950 metres (1.9 km) south of the south edge of Sheppard Avenue West; and
11:27:56 a.m. End of video.
Police Communications RecordingsThe recordings were made on January 1, 2021 and revealed the following:
At 11:28:55 a.m., a woman called 911 to report a collision and a vehicle on fire at Keele Street and Shepperd Avenue. She advised the vehicle went through a red light;
At 11:28:55 a.m., a man called 911 and advised an ambulance was required at Shepperd Avenue and Keele Street;
At 11:28:57 a.m., a man called 911 reporting a big accident at Keele Street and Shepperd Avenue;
At 11:29:05 a.m., a man called 911 advising there was a three-car collision at Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue;
At 11:29:09 a.m., a man called 911 advising there was a bad accident at Keele Street at Sheppard Avenue. The power lines were down and one vehicle was on fire;
At 11:29:11 a.m., a woman called 911 advising of a collision at Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue;
At 11:29:50 a.m., the police dispatcher requested cruisers attend at Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue for a collision. One vehicle was on its roof and on fire;
At 11:30:20 a.m., a man called 911 requesting an ambulance;
At 11:30:29 a.m., the police dispatcher advised there was a vehicle on its roof with parties trapped;
At 11:30:50 a.m., a man [now determined to be CW #6] called 911 advising police, fire department and ambulance were required. He was driving a blue Hyundai and was involved in the collision. The vehicle that struck CW #6’s vehicle was on fire;
At 11:30:58 a.m., the police dispatcher advised a vehicle had run a red traffic light and fire and ambulance were en route;
At 11:31:37 a.m., a man from TTC called 911 reporting a collision at Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue;
At 11:32:05 a.m., the dispatcher asked for police units to go to Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue;
At 11:32:20 a.m., an unidentified man called 911 advising he was assisting at the collision. He told the dispatcher two police cruisers were on scene;
At 11:33:15 a.m., a man’s voice [now determined to be the SO] advised a dark blue Mercedes SUV [believed to be driven by Complainant #1] had taken off from him;
At 11:33:21 a.m., the dispatcher asked from what location;
At 11:33:25 a.m., the SO advised from Wilson Avenue northbound on Keele Street;
At 11:33:41 a.m., the SO gave the dispatcher a possible plate number for the Mercedes Benz;
At 11:33:56 a.m., the dispatcher asked if the SO got an occupant description and which way the Mercedes Benz was going;
At 11:34:01 a.m., the SO advised there were unknown occupants and the vehicle went north on Keele Street;
At 11:34:34 a.m., the SO asked the dispatcher if he could go to the police station to do paperwork for his fail to stop;
At 11:35:27 a.m., the dispatcher advised a dark blue Mercedes Benz had taken off on the SO heading north on Keele Street from Wilson Avenue;
At 11:35:36 a.m., the dispatcher advised the Mercedes Benz had failed to stop for a 12 Division police officer and the Mercedes was headed north on Keele Street;
At 11:43:43 a.m., the dispatcher asked all units at the collision to be on the 31 Division radio band; and
The remaining communications dealt with logistics and units attending the scene.
TTC VideoThe TTC provided video from buses that were in the area of Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue on January 1, 2021, at the time of the incident. The videos from three TTC buses were reviewed. Nothing of evidentiary was captured on the recordings.
Series of Video Recordings from Premises Along Pursuit RouteTPS provided video footage taken on January 1, 2021, from various locations on Keele Street. The videos were reviewed to determine their relevance. The videos were from various business locations. These videos were of no evidentiary value to the investigation.
Dashcam from civilianThe dashcam video was provided by TPS. Numerous attempts to contact the civilian were met with negative results.
There was no date stamp attached to the video and the timing of the video began at 6:19 p.m. and ended at 7:11 p.m., seven hours past the time the incident occurred. The video showed a blurred dark vehicle drive past the dashcam; no marked police cruiser followed the dark vehicle.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained the following records from the TPS between January 1 and 12, 2021:
- Computer-assisted Dispatch Event Details Report (x2);
- Email from TPS regarding 911 Callers;
- Email from TPS regarding Potential ID of Second Occupant - Mercedes SUV;
- GPS / AVL Data
- Motor Vehicle Collision (MVC) Report;
- Notes of the SO, WO and two undesignated officials;
- Occurrence Report;
- TPS Fail to Stop Report;
- TPS Civilian Witness List;
- TPS MVC Report;
- TPS Closed-circuit Television (CCTV) Video Recordings;
- TPS Communication Recordings;
- TPS ICCS Recordings;
- TPS Photos;
- TPS Policy-Suspect Apprehension Pursuit;
- Series of video recordings from premises along pursuit route; and
- Measurement Data.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
- Medical Records – Complainant #2, received January 18, 2021; and
- TTC Bus Stop CCTV.
The SO accelerated northward to close the distance on the Mercedes Benz as it continued at speed weaving in and out of traffic. At Sir William Hearst Avenue, with the SO’s cruiser behind it, the Mercedes Benz came to a stop for a red light. The officer did not have time to check the SUV’s licence plate before the light turned green and the Mercedes Benz sped off.
The SO turned on his emergency lights and siren, and accelerated for a period to keep pace with the Mercedes Benz. However, as the vehicles travelled past Wilson Avenue, the officer decided to disengage after seeing the Mercedes Benz continuing to pull away. He turned off his emergency equipment, pulled over and stopped, and radioed that he was returning to the station to file a “Fail to Stop” report.
The Mercedes Benz travelled toward the Sheppard Avenue West intersection at high speed, entered it against a red light and broadsided a westbound vehicle being operated by Complainant #2. The collision sent Complainant #2’s vehicle spinning in a clockwise direction; it eventually came to rest in the northbound lanes of Keele Street north of the intersection, having sustained heavy damage. The Mercedes Benz spun counter-clockwise upon impact, struck another vehicle, which had been stopped waiting to turn onto Sheppard Avenue West from the southbound left-turn lane, flipped and came to rest on its roof on the west side of Keele Street north of the intersection.
The police, fire department and ambulance service arrived at the scene and rendered assistance. A man – Complainant #1 – was found injured outside the Mercedes Benz and taken to hospital. He is presumed to have suffered serious injuries, the nature and extent of which remain unascertained as he did not authorize the release of his medical records.
Complainant #2 suffered fractures and head injuries, including a subdural hemorrhage. She passed away on January 30, 2021 while still in hospital, the result of traumatic brain injury incurred in the collision.
Fortunately, no other persons suffered serious injury.
Section 320.13, Criminal Code – Dangerous operation of motor vehicles, vessels and aircraft
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offence that arises for consideration is dangerous driving causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing death contrary to section 320.13(2) and (3) of the Criminal Code, respectively. The offences are predicated, in part, on conduct that amounts to a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. In the instant case, the issue is whether there was any want of care by the SO in the course of his engagement with the Mercedes Benz that contributed to the collision and/or was sufficiently egregious as to attract criminal sanction. In my view, there was not.
The SO was in the lawful discharge of his duty as he pulled onto Keele Street intending to stop the operator of the Mercedes Benz for a speeding infraction. He had clocked the Mercedes Benz traveling at 86 km/h, well over the 50 km/h speed limit.
Thereafter, I am satisfied that the officer conducted himself with due regard for the health and safety of the public. For starters, it would appear that the SO was within his rights in pursuing the Mercedes Benz even after it had failed to stop for him both before and after he activated his emergency equipment. Pursuant to O. Reg. 266/10, the regulation governing police pursuits in the province, an officer may not continue to pursue a vehicle for a traffic infraction where the vehicle or a person inside the vehicle has been identified. The SO had done neither; the Mercedes Benz’s windows were tinted preventing a view inside the vehicle and he had only managed to note a part of the licence plate. With respect to the SO’s speeds, though in excess of the speed limit, they were never higher than about 75 km/h on Keele Street. Though carrying with it some risk, it would not appear that the officer’s velocity directly imperiled other users of the road or was otherwise imprudent in light of the weather (clear) and roadway conditions (dry and in good repair). Finally, in keeping with the dictates of the pursuit regulation, the SO, wisely in my view, stopped all efforts to catch up to the Mercedes Benz when the balance of public safety considerations had clearly become prohibitive. Though the cruiser’s lights and siren were on, the Mercedes Benz had continued to travel erratically and at speeds well in excess of 100 km/h as it approached Sheppard Avenue West.
On the aforementioned-record, in the context of a very brief engagement in time and distance - about a minute and two kilometres - there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case and the file is closed.
Date: March 30, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) On January 30, 2021 Complainant #2 succumbed to her injuries at Sunnybrook Hospital. [Back to text]
- 2) A stop bar or stop line is a 24 inch-wide, solid white line extending across all lanes in one direction to indicate where to stop. [Back to text]
The signed English original report is authoritative, and any discrepancy between that report and the French and English online versions should be resolved in favour of the original English report.