SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-PVI-203
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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 the serious injury a 33-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.
Notification of the SIUOn July 1, 2021, at 4:12 p.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) notified the SIU of an injury to the Complainant, which had resulted in him being admitted to hospital.
The OPP advised that on July 1, 2021, at 6:04 a.m., the Complainant stole a vehicle from his ex-wife’s residence in Pembroke. After a very brief pursuit, the Complainant lost control of the vehicle and it went into a ditch at Kelly Road. He was taken to the station and complained that his head hurt.
The Complainant was taken to Pembroke Regional Hospital (PRH) and then transferred to Renfrew Victoria Hospital for a CT scan, which showed a possible brain bleed. The Complainant was transferred back to PRH and had since been admitted to hospital for a re-examination in the morning.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 07/02/2021 at 6:49 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 07/02/2021 at 3:11 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 1
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):33-year-old male interviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on July 30, 2021.
Subject Official (SO)SO Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right. Notes received and reviewed.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #2 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
The Scene On August 31, 2021, at 3:00 p.m., the SIU Forensic Investigator attended at the intersection of Round Lake Road (Renfrew County Road 58) and Kelly Lake Road where the collision took place. Round Lake Road is oriented roughly east-west, and Kelly Lake Road runs roughly south from the intersection.
The intersection was photographed, including marks on the shoulder at the southwest corner where it appeared a vehicle had slid into the ditch. Marks indicated a vehicle was traveling westbound on Round Lake Road and appeared to go south (left turn onto Kelly Lake Road). There were two tire tracks traveling in a straightforward direction but at a southwest angle from Round Lake Road to Kelly Lake Road. There was a slight black mark (skid) on the asphalt surface indicating a braking action leading up to the gravel shoulder. The marks were from the asphalt across the gravel and into the ditch, where the vehicle appeared to have stopped right at the bottom of the shallow ditch. A knocked-down road sign was located along the roadway (Kelly Lake Road) which appeared to have been hit by the front of the vehicle as it was heading into the ditch. A small piece of the vehicle’s front licence plate was imbedded on the post.
Figure 1 - Tire tracks and knocked-down road sign
Physical Evidence On August 31, 2021, at 12:30 p.m., the SIU Forensic Investigator examined the Mazda pickup truck, which the Complainant had been driving during this incident, for any damage consistent with contact with another vehicle. The vehicle was photographed.
The condition of the vehicle was very rough, and it had numerous dents, scrapes, rust and replaced parts. The rear bumper was bent in a downward direction.
The height of a dent on the rear of the box on the driver’s side was 67 cm (66 to 70 cm from the ground) and the area of the dent was approximately 4 cm high by 8 cm wide. There was a light-coloured scuff at the top edge of the dent.
At 1:21 p.m., the SIU Forensic Investigator attended the Pembroke OPP Detachment located at 77 International Drive in Pembroke. The SO’s OPP cruiser was examined and photographed. There were no obvious signs of damage or contact marks on the front end which was equipped with a push bar. The cross member of the push bar was measured, and found to be between 62.5 cm and 67 cm from the ground. The cross member of the push bar was not damaged.
Both the Mazda pickup truck and the police vehicle were placed in juxtaposition and it appeared the heights of the pickup box dent and cruiser’s push bar cross member did not match - the cruiser’s cross member was lower than the pickup truck’s dent.
Summary of OPP Global Positioning System (GPS) DataAccording the OPP GPS data for the SO’s police vehicle, at 6:09:15 a.m., the SO stopped his police vehicle in the vicinity of 10884 Round Lake Road, Pembroke. At 6:09:36 a.m., the SO commenced a pursuit of the Complainant. For approximately the next five minutes and over a distance of approximately 11.6 kilometres, the SO pursued the Complainant west on Round Lake Road, where the posted speed limit remained constant at 80 km/h.
At 6:10:05 a.m., the SO’s police vehicle was traveling at a speed of 142 km/h as the officer approached the intersection of Round Lake Road and Doran Road, which was uncontrolled for vehicles traveling east and west on Round Lake Road. The distance travelled from the traffic stop was 914 metres.
At 6:10:19 a.m., the SO attained his highest speed of 149 km/h, 1.4 kilometres from where the traffic stop took place and 500 metres west of Doran Road.
At 6:10:55 a.m., the SO entered the intersection of Rahns Road traveling at approximately 138 km/h. The intersection was uncontrolled for vehicles traveling east and west on Round Lake Road and was 2.9 kilometres from the traffic stop location.
At 6:11:41 a.m., the SO was traveling at 139 km/h as he entered the intersection at Borne Road North. The intersection was uncontrolled for vehicles traveling east and west on Round Lake Road and was 4.6 kilometres from the traffic stop location.
At 6:11:52 a.m., the SO passed through the intersection of German Road traveling at a speed of 137 km/h. The intersection was uncontrolled for vehicles traveling east and west on Round Lake Road and was 4.9 kilometres from the traffic stop location.
At 6:12:49 a.m., the SO was traveling at 141 km/h as he approached the intersection of Borne Road. The intersection was uncontrolled for vehicles traveling east and west on Round Lake Road and was 7.2 kilometres from the traffic stop location.
At 6:13:41 a.m., the SO was traveling at 140 km/h as he approached the intersection of Round Lake Road and Stencells Road. The intersection was uncontrolled for vehicles traveling east and west on Round Lake Road and was 9.3 kilometres from the traffic stop location.
At 6:14:35 a.m., the SO was 300 metres east of Kelly Lake Road and traveling at 148 km/h. This location was 11.3 kilometres from the traffic stop location.
At 6:14:48 a.m., the SO stopped at the intersection of Round Lake Road and Kelly Lake Road, where the Complainant’s vehicle had gone off the road. The intersection was uncontrolled for vehicles traveling east and west on Round Lake Road and was 11.6 kilometres from the traffic stop location.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Communication RecordingsOn July 1, 2021, at 5:46:28 a.m., the Smiths Falls Communications Centre (PCC) reported to all Upper Ottawa Valley (UOV) police units a domestic incident which had occurred at an address in Pembroke. The following are the salient portions of the recording.
SO I have vehicle stopped outside 10912.
PCC 10-4. Reports to other units that [the SO’s] location is stopped south of 17 Highway, south of Henan Road.
SO I’m heading southbound on Round Lake Road traveling approximately 100 km/h.
PCC 10-4. Have you got lights and siren engaged, is the male party not stopping?
SO That’s correct, lights and sirens. I did have him stopped and I went to get out of the vehicle and then he took off.
PCC What’s the reason for the pursuit?
SO Possible 253 along with the other RPG.
PCC 10-4, and what are your speeds?
Road Sgt Weather is 16 degrees, clear, roads are dry.
PCC Do we have any one ahead that can get in position with a spike belt?
PCC Sgt What’s the suspect’s driving like?
SO Suspect maintaining his lane, consistent speed 135, 140, passing Borne Road.
PCC Sgt Can I get an update on speeds and traffic?
SO Speed 138, still southbound, just passed a pulled over semi, passing Stencells Road, 140 km/h.
SO Vehicle turning onto Kelly Lake and in the ditch, I’m gonna be out on foot
SO I got one 10-92. 
PCC 10-4. Did you want a 10-52  to start making their way toward your location?
SO Male party is requesting 52, stating everything hurts but he is conscious. Speaking with the male right now.
SO Start mileage to UOV detachment when you’re ready – [mileage provided].
SO The 52, can they meet us at the Leenartz gas bar on Round Lake Road?
SO Male party has been cleared by paramedics, however, he is requesting to go to PRH so I will be taking him into my custody, back into my custody, and heading to PRH, if you could let them know.
PCC Just to clarify, with him going to PRH. Is he going in under mental health or he needs more clearing by medical staff?
SO Additional clearing by medical staff.
SO On route to PRH with that 10-92.
SO Final mileage at PRH when you’re ready – [mileage provided], and prior to entering PRH, just because of the reception, I’m gonna be contacting duty counsel, so I will advise when we will be going inside.
SO Just advising we will be heading into PRH now.
SO I’m clear from PRH heading 10-19, two officers will remain at PRH with the 92.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from the OPP between July 6, 2021 and September 10, 2021:
• Communication Recordings;
• Tech Support Centre-Request for GPS Tracking of Cruisers;
• Computer-assisted Dispatch Event Chronology;
• GPS Data for the SO’s vehicle - July 1, 2021;
• List of involved officers;
• Narrative – WO #2;
• Notes – WO #1;
• Notes – WO #2;
• Notes – the SO;
• Will State regarding GPS Data; and
• Instructions for Using Google Earth for Viewing KMZ Files.
In the morning of July 1, 2021, the OPP received a 911 call from a woman, the Complainant’s partner at the time. She reported that she had just been assaulted at her home by the Complainant and that he had left her residence in her vehicle without her permission. Officers were dispatched to the area to look for the Complainant.
The SO, operating a marked OPP cruiser east on Round Lake Road, crossed paths with the Complainant, traveling west in the 911 caller’s pickup truck. The officer activated his emergency lights, executed a U-turn, and started to follow the Complainant.
The Complainant noticed the cruiser behind him and pulled over in the vicinity of 10884 Round Lake Road. The SO stopped behind the pickup truck and was exiting his cruiser when the Complainant began to speed away. The officer re-entered his cruiser and accelerated after the Complainant west on Round Lake Road.
The pair of vehicles continued westward on Round Lake Road over the next 11.5 kilometres at speeds upwards of 130 km/h.
The Complainant failed to negotiate a left-hand turn onto Kelly Lake Road, lost control of the pickup, and crashed into the ditch at the southwest corner of the intersection. The officer saw the accident, brought his cruiser to a stop, and exited his vehicle to render assistance to the Complainant.
Paramedics attended the scene, assessed the Complainant, and cleared him medically. The Complainant was subsequently taken to hospital where he was reportedly diagnosed with a head injury.
Section 128(13), Highway Traffic Act – Police vehicles and speeding
(b) a police department vehicle being used in the lawful performance of a police officer’s duties.
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. Liability under the provision is 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 on the part of the SO in connection with the pursuit that caused or contributed to the collision and / or was sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction. In my view, there was not.
Based on what the SO had learned of the 911 call via dispatch, I am satisfied there were lawful grounds to believe that the Complainant had assaulted his partner and was driving a stolen pickup truck. In the circumstances, the officer was within his rights in initiating a pursuit to stop the truck and apprehend the Complainant.
Aside from the speeds reached during the pursuit, there are no other real indicia of dangerousness raised in the evidence. The weather was clear and the roadway, though perhaps slightly wet, was in good condition. None of the intersections, seven in total, were controlled by stop signs or traffic lights. The Complainant appeared to have control over the pickup truck right up until he crashed the vehicle. At no point was third-party traffic, which was minimal given the time of day, placed at imminent risk by the pursuit. Finally, there is no forensic evidence to suggest the SO’s vehicle made contact with the pickup truck.
The speeds reached by the officer are of concern. The GPS data establish that the SO was consistently over 130 km/h over the duration of the pursuit, and regularly upwards of 140 km/h, topping out at 149 km/h. At those speeds, well over the 80 km/h limit that governed the roadway, I am satisfied that the SO’s driving constituted a danger to public safety.
I am unable to reasonably conclude, however, that the SO’s speed constituted a marked departure from a reasonable level of care. Pursuant to section 128(13)(b) of the Highway Traffic Act, police officers engaged in the lawful execution of their duties are exempt from speed limitations. While the section does not provide officers free rein to speed as they wish regardless of public safety considerations, it does provide a degree of mitigation in the reasonableness analysis in recognition of the role of police officers. The dangers inherent in the SO’s speed were further mitigated by the use of his emergency lights and siren (providing notice to other motorists of the pursuit), the aforementioned environmental conditions and traffic levels, and the information broadcast by the officer regarding his speeds and the driving behaviour of the Complainant. That information enabled senior officers monitoring the pursuit to decide whether it should continue or not. Notably, no one monitoring the pursuit ordered its termination.
For the foregoing reasons, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law in the manner in which he pursued the Complainant. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file is closed.
Date: October 28, 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) Denotes ‘person in custody’. [Back to text]
- 3) Denotes ‘ambulance needed’. [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.