SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OVI-162
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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 28-year-old woman (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn May 22, 2021, at 11:45 p.m., the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) notified the SIU of the following.
Police officers on patrol had attempted to stop a vehicle near 1240 Donald Street, and the vehicle fled. A pursuit was initiated at Cyrville Road and Ogilvie Road. The pursued vehicle subsequently collided with another civilian vehicle.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 05/25/2021 at 7:31 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 05/25/2021 at 9:59 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):28-year-old female interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on June 1, 2021.
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
CW #2 Declined to be interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed on June 3, 2021.
Subject OfficialsSO #1 Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right. Notes received and reviewed.
SO #2 Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right. Notes received and reviewed.
Witness OfficialsWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on June 1, 2021.
The Scene The incident took place in the area of Cyrville Road and Ogilvie Road. Ogilvie Road is a four-lane paved asphalt road which permits two lanes of eastbound and two lanes of westbound vehicular movement. Cyrville Road is a two-lane paved asphalt road permitting north and southbound vehicular movement.
CW #2 travelled southbound along Cyrville Road, approaching a red light at Ogilvie Road. The Complainant’s vehicle was struck by CW #2 while traveling westbound on Ogilvie Road through a green light.
Vehicle Global Positioning System (GPS) Data SummarySO #1’s Police Vehicle
SO #1 commenced his travels northbound on St. Laurent Boulevard, the area in which he first observed CW #2. SO #1 continued until he reached Cyrville Road and St. Laurent Boulevard, where SO #2 and WO #2 initiated the traffic stop of CW #2’s white Mercedes. The posted speed limit for the area was 60 km/h. Subsequent to the traffic stop and CW #2’s flight in his vehicle, SO #1 pursued CW #2’s vehicle with emergency equipment activated. During SO #1’s following of CW #2, SO #1 reached a top speed of 107 km/h and maintained an average speed of 35.6 km/h.
SO #1 travelled through four intersections equipped with traffic control signals - two intersections controlled by a yield sign and two intersections controlled by stop signs. The colour of the traffic control signals are not known and cannot be determined, except for the intersection of St. Laurent and Donald Street where SO #1 specifically noted in his duty notes that he proceeded through a green light.
SO #1’s average speed through both stop signs was 19.4 km/h, suggesting that SO #1 did not come to a complete stop through the stop sign controlled intersections.
SO #2’s Police Vehicle
SO #2 commenced his travels northbound on St. Laurent Boulevard. SO #2 continued until he reached Cyrville Road and St. Laurent Boulevard where he initiated the traffic stop of CW #2’s white Mercedes. The posted speed limit for the area was 60 km/h. Subsequent to the traffic stop and CW #2’s flight from the police, SO #2 pursued CW #2’s vehicle with emergency equipment activated. During SO #2’s following of CW #2, SO #2 reached a top speed of 121 km/h and maintained an average speed of 74.8 km/h.
SO #2 travelled through two intersections equipped with traffic control signals. The colour of the traffic control signals are not known and cannot be determined.
SO #2 reached a speed of 100 km/h while traveling on Alesther Street - a narrow residential road, densely populated with houses.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence The investigator inquired with OPS, upon receipt of the file, if closed-circuit television (CCTV) was present in the area and retrieved. It was confirmed that there was no CCTV footage for the area.
911 Communications SummaryFirst 911 Call
May 22, 2021 at 10:07:11 p.m.
• Length of call was 1:40 minutes;
• Unknown female caller to ambulance dispatch;
• Female caller was driving a vehicle and saw a white car drive through a red traffic light at the intersection of Cyrville Road and Ogilvie Road;
• She saw people exit from a vehicle;
• Police were already on scene; and
• Female ended the call early and hung up the phone.
Second 911 Call
May 22, 2021 at 10:07:19 p.m.
• Length of call was 1:36 minutes;
• A man called the police;
• The man saw a vehicle collision at Cyrville Road and Ogilvie Road;
• He saw one vehicle turning in the intersection and another vehicle collided into the front end of the other vehicle; and
• Police were on scene.
Third 911 Call
May 22, 2021 at 10:07:20 p.m.
• Length of call was 1:13 minutes;
• Unknown female caller from unknown phone number to police;
• Female saw a vehicle collision at Ogilvie Road near St. Laurent Boulevard;
• Two vehicles collided and someone was possibly crossing the street; and
• Female was going to check on injuries, but police arrived shortly after.
Fourth 911 Call
May 22, 2021 at 10:08:53 p.m.
• Length of call was 36 seconds;
• 911 dispatcher called unknown caller from unknown number; and
• 911 dispatcher asked if caller was trying to call 911. Caller said he was and that there was a collision at Cyrville Road and Ogilvie Road, but police were already on scene.
Radio Communications SummaryThe recording was from 10:02:11 p.m. to 10:14:13 p.m., but only relevant portions are included below. The recording was not time stamped.
• 0:11 mins, WO #2 – “Car just took off on us and proceeding west”;
• 0:30 mins, Dispatch – “Are you in pursuit?”
• 0:35 mins, WO #2 – “Possible impaired”;
• 0:39 mins, Dispatch – “Are you in pursuit?”
• 0:50 mins, WO #1 – “We are in pursuit, we are going west on Alesther Street, possibly 70 km/h”;
• 1:11 mins, WO #1 – “Vehicle is heading back to St. Laurent”;
• 1:19 mins, Dispatch – “Is the driver identified?”
• 1:28 mins, WO #1 – “He just turned southbound on St. Laurent and heading back to (inaudible)”;
• 1:34 mins, Undesignated Officer – “Last speed dispatch?”
• 1:37 mins, WO #1 – “80 kilometres”;
• 1:42 mins, Dispatch – “Traffic conditions, please?”
• 1:45 mins, WO #1 – “Westbound on Donald is (inaudible)”;
• 1:54 mins, WO #2 – “Southbound on Alesther”;
• 1:57 mins, Undesignated Officer – “Discontinue pursuit please, discontinue”;
• 2:07 mins, WO #1 – “Kilometres 50398, discontinuing”;
• 2:12 mins, Dispatch – “Acknowledge, discontinued”;
• 2:15 mins, WO #3 – “And WO #3, I was parked on Queen Mary and the car came eastbound Queen Mary and southbound St. Laurent again. I was just parked on a separate call”;
• 2:32 mins, WO #2 – “WO #2, we are Queen Mary and Alesther. Kilometres are 155433”;
• 3:12 mins, WO #1 – “WO #1, we were just notified by a civilian that the vehicle got into an accident”;
• 3:23 mins, WO #1 – “Currently at Cyrville and St. Laurent looking for the car”;
• 3:39 mins, Unknown Officer – “There is a collision, Cyrville and Ogilvie, we have a person in custody, I don’t know what’s wrong with the collision, but you have a collision here”;
• 3:49 mins, Dispatch – “Does the civilian need an ambulance?”
• 3:58 mins, WO #1 – “WO #1, we do need an ambulance. The collision is at Ogilvie and Cyrville. We are going to need Ministry of Transportation and additional units”;
• 5:33 mins, WO #2 – “WO #2, we have one female here with head injuries, she is conscious but extremely confused, unable to move”;
• 5:48 mins, WO #2 – “She is having breathing issues”; and
• 11:06 mins, Unknown – “Ambulance is pulling up.”
Vehicle Pursuit Route VideoThe vehicle pursuit route was video recorded by the SIU on July 28, 2021. The recording was 08:11 minutes in duration. The pursuit route took place in a residential and commercial area with streetlamps along the entire route.
The route started eastbound on Coventry Road in the left turning lanes at the St. Laurent Boulevard intersection, starting with mileage 0.0 kilometres. The intersection of Coventry Road and St. Laurent Boulevard was a busy intersection, with two lanes of traffic for east and westbound traffic. There were also two turning lanes in both directions. There were three lanes of traffic for north and southbound traffic on St. Laurent Boulevard with only one turning lane in both directions. The intersection was controlled by traffic lights. On St. Laurent Boulevard northbound, the posted speed limit was 60 km/h. The street had commercial property on both sides of the road.
The route turned west onto Donald Street from St. Laurent Boulevard. The distance was at 0.5 kilometres. The intersection of Donald Street and St. Laurent Boulevard was controlled by traffic lights with two lanes for north and southbound traffic, and one turning lane to turn west. There was also one turning lane to turn east. Donald Street had one lane for east and westbound traffic. One turning lane for northbound and two lanes for southbound traffic. The posted speed limit was 50 km/h. The road had painted street lines. Donald Street was in a residential area.
The route then continued north on Alesther Street. The distance was at 0.6 kilometres. Alesther Street was in a residential area with parked vehicles on the street. The street was meant for one lane of north and south traffic with no painted street lines. There were no speed limit signs posted. The route proceeded north of Telford Avenue. At the three-way intersection of Alesther Street and Telford Avenue, there were posted stop signs in all directions. The distance was at 1.0 kilometre. Telford Avenue was in a residential area. The road was meant for one lane of traffic north and south with no painted street lines. There were no speed limit signs posted.
The route proceeded north through the intersection of Sirois Avenue and Telford Avenue which had posted stop signs at the four-way intersection. Telford Avenue then turned east and changed names to Straby Avenue. The route continued north onto May Street from Straby Avenue. There was a stop sign posted for southbound traffic only on May Street. The distance was at 1.2 kilometres. May Street was in a residential area with the road meant for one lane of traffic north and south traffic, with no road lines painted. There were no speed limit signs posted.
The route turned east on McArthur Avenue. The intersection was controlled by traffic lights. The distance was at 1.3 kilometres. McArthur Avenue was in a residential and commercial area, with two lanes for eastbound traffic and one lane for westbound traffic. There was also an eastbound and westbound bike lane. No speed limit signs were posted.
The route then turned south on St. Laurent Boulevard. The intersection was controlled by traffic lights. The distance was at 1.6 kilometres with a posted 60 km/h sign.
The route returned west on Donald Street from St. Laurent Boulevard. The route then turned south on Alesther Street. The distance was at 2.0 kilometres. There were no intersection control measures. The pursuit continued southbound in a residential area - the road was meant for one lane north and southbound traffic with no painted road markings. The posted speed limit was 40km/h.  There were parked vehicles on the road.
The route concluded on Alesther Street, north of Queen Mary Street. The final distance was 2.3 kilometres.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained the following records from the OPS between May 26, 2021 and June 17, 2021:
• Mobile data Terminal records (x3);
• Computer-Assisted Dispatch;
• OPS Radio Communications;
• OPS 911 Communications;
• GPS Data;
• Narrative of SOs and WOs ;
• Notes of SOs and WOs;
• Training Record of SOs;
• OPS Motor Vehicle Collision Report; and
• Civilian Statement (x3).
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
• Medical Records - the Complainant – Ottawa General Hospital;
Shortly after 10:00 p.m. of May 22, 2021, the Complainant was in her vehicle – a Nissan Sentra – driving west on Ogilvie Road when her vehicle was struck by a Mercedes Benz in the roadway’s intersection with Cyrville Road. The Complainant had entered the intersection on a green light. The Mercedes Benz, driven by CW #2, travelled into the intersection on a red light and caused the collision. CW #2 was fleeing police at the time.
Minutes before the collision, SO #2, operating a police vehicle with subdued markings, had pulled CW #2 over. The officer, in the company of WO #2, was on patrol when he came across the Mercedes Benz while waiting to make a left-hand turn from Coventry Road onto St. Laurent Boulevard. The Mercedes Benz, which was in the adjacent lane waiting to make the same turn, had deeply tinted windows preventing the officers from seeing inside. They decided to stop the vehicle for a possible Highway Traffic Act infraction.
As both vehicles completed their left-hand turns, SO #2 initiated a traffic stop. CW #2 brought his car to a stop on St. Laurent Boulevard, north of Cyrville Road, with SO #2’s cruiser stopped behind him. The officers were joined by a marked police cruiser, which also pulled in behind the Mercedes Benz, occupied by SO #1 (driver) and WO #1 (passenger). SO #2 and SO #1 exited and approached the front driver and passenger side of the Mercedes Benz, respectively. Both officers observed a transparent baggie in the possession of CW #2’s passenger (an unidentified male) with a green substance they suspected was cannabis. CW #2 was asked to turn off the engine, and he and his passenger directed to exit the vehicle. CW #2 initially turned off the engine before turning the ignition on again, uttering, “Sorry,” to SO #2 and accelerating away.
Seeing what had happened, SO #1 and WO #1 activated their emergency lights and siren, and pursued the Mercedes Benz northward on St. Laurent Boulevard. They followed the car as it turned to travel west on Donald Street, north on Telford Avenue, east on Straby Avenue, north on May Street, and east on McArthur Avenue before emerging onto St. Laurent Boulevard again, heading southbound.
SO #2 and WO #2 had returned to their vehicle and also joined in the pursuit. The officers lost sight of the Mercedes Benz and police cruiser ahead of them as they turned onto Donald Street. SO #2 turned to head west on Donald Street before deciding to execute a U-turn to head back toward St. Laurent Boulevard. While traveling eastward, he and WO #2 saw the Mercedes Benz heading toward them from St. Laurent Boulevard. [After turning to travel south on St. Laurent Boulevard, CW #2 had turned westward onto Donald Street again.] SO #2 followed the Mercedes Benz as it turned left in front of him onto Alesther Street, becoming the lead police vehicle in pursuit. Shortly thereafter, as the Mercedes Benz turned left onto Queen Mary Street, a sergeant monitoring the pursuit on the radio ordered that it be discontinued. SO #2 stopped his cruiser on Alesther Street north of Queen Mary Street. SO #1, who had pulled in behind SO #2’s cruiser on Alesther Street, did the same.
CW #2 continued at speed – east on Queen Mary Street, south on St. Laurent Boulevard and then southeast on Cyrville Road – toward the site of the collision. He and his passenger exited the Mercedes Benz and were arrested at the scene. The passenger was subsequently released.
The Complainant was transported to hospital and treated for serious injuries.
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 contrary to section 320.13(2) of the Criminal Code. The offence is premised, 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 a want of care on the part of either or both of the subject officials in the conduct of the pursuit that contributed to the collision and/or was sufficiently egregious as to attract criminal sanction. In my view, there was not.
The officers were within their rights in initiating a pursuit of CW #2. SO #2 had reason to believe that the windows of CW #2’s vehicle were overly tinted in contravention of the Highway Traffic Act, thereby justifying the motor vehicle stop. Thereafter, having observed an open bag of what appeared to be cannabis in the lap of the front passenger, there were also grounds to believe that the occupants of the Mercedes Benz were in contravention of the Cannabis Act, and that CW #2 might be driving while impaired in breach of the Criminal Code. On this record, as they were dealing with potential criminal offences, SO #1 and SO #2 were entitled to chase after CW #2 when he fled the scene of the stop.
Aside from the speeds reached by the officers and indication that SO #1 may not have come to a complete stop at a couple of stop signs, there is little in the evidence to suggest that the officers pursued CW #2 with insufficient regard for public safety. The officers had their emergency lights and sirens on throughout the engagement (giving third-parties notice of their presence and the unfolding pursuit), broadcast why they were pursuing, and their direction of travel and speeds (giving the supervising sergeant information to make reasonable decisions about the pursuit), and quickly discontinued their pursuit as soon as they were ordered to do so. While there is GPS data indicating that both subject officials travelled upwards of 100 km/h at points, at times on narrow residential streets, those spurts of speed were relatively short-lived and do not appear to have actually imperiled any pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the vicinity,  which appears to have been light throughout the incident. Nor does it appear that either of the subject officials were ever very close to the Mercedes Benz, unduly pushing it or foreclosing any reasonable opportunity for CW #2 to desist from his reckless driving. Indeed, the pursuit had ended well before CW #2 entered the Ogilvie and Cyrville Roads intersection on a red light and caused a collision.
For the foregoing reasons, I am unable to reasonably conclude that either subject official transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law in the course of their pursuit of CW #2. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file is closed.
Date: September 17, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The following records contain sensitive personal information and are not being released pursuant to section 34(2) of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019. The material portions of the records are summarized below. [Back to text]
- 2) It was at this location that SO #2 reached 100 km/h. [Back to text]
- 3) The same may be said of the evidence suggesting SO #1 may not have come to a full stop at two stop signs. [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.