SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OVD-248


This page contains graphic content that can shock, offend and upset.

Mandate of the SIU

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving an official where there has been death, serious injury, the discharge of a firearm at a person or an allegation of sexual assault. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 (SIU Act), officials are defined as police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act. The SIU’s jurisdiction covers more than 50 municipal, regional and provincial police services across Ontario.

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.

Information Restrictions

Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019

Pursuant 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 Act

Pursuant 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, 2004

Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.

Other proceedings, processes, and investigations

Information 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.

Mandate Engaged

Pursuant to section 15 of the SIU Act, the SIU may investigate the conduct of officials, be they police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission or peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act, that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

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 death of 19-year-old man (“Complainant #1”), and serious injuries sustained by a 15-year-old girl (“Complainant #2”) and a 19-year-old man (Complainant #3).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On August 7, 2021 at 12:02 a.m., the Peterborough Police Service (PPS) contacted the SIU and reported the following.

On August 6, 2021, at approximately 10:40 p.m., a PPS officer was conducting radar on County Road 28. A southbound vehicle entered the radar at a high rate of speed and went past the officer. The police officer got into his cruiser, went after the vehicle, and activated the emergency lighting. The speeding vehicle was out of sight but, as the police officer crested a hill, he could see a cloud of dust in the distance. The police officer then came upon a motor-vehicle collision involving the vehicle that he had attempted to pull over. There were several injuries to the occupants of the vehicles. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) had attended and one occupant was vital signs absent (VSA) at time of notification.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 08/07/2021 at 1:24 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 08/07/2021 at 3:45 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2

Affected Persons (aka “Complainants”):

Complainant #1 19-year-old male, deceased
Complainant #2 15-year-old female interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
Complainant #3 19-year-old male not interviewed, [1] medical records obtained and reviewed
Complainant #2 was interviewed on August 12, 2021.

Civilian Witnesses

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Declined interview
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Interviewed
CW #6 Interviewed
CW #7 Interviewed

The civilian witnesses were interviewed between August 7, 2021, and August 24,2021.

Subject Officials

SO Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject official’s legal right

The subject official was interviewed on October 5, 2021.

Witness Officials

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #1 was interviewed on August 12, 2021.


The Scene

Complainant #3 and Complainant #2 sustained serious injuries, while Complainant #1 succumbed to his injuries, in the area of County Road 28 and Ward Street, Fraserville.

County Road 28 travels in a north - south direction with one lane in each direction. The roadway is paved with road markings present. North of the intersection, the centre line is a double solid line. South of the intersection the centre line is solid for northbound traffic and divided for southbound traffic. The posted speed limit is 80 km/h. There is a marsh area on the east side of the roadway.

There was a total of three involved motor vehicles contained within the cordoned-off scene. The vehicles were as follows.

2017 Police Interceptor SUV

This was a marked police unit with graphics as designed by the PPS. The vehicle was positioned in an easterly direction across the centre line of County Road 28 and south of the intersection with Ward Street. The vehicle was examined and had no new collision damage. It was also noted that there was a hand-held radar unit on top of a duty bag on the front right passenger seat.

Figure 1 - The Police Interceptor SUV positioned across County Road 28.

2004 Dodge Ram 2500 (white)

This vehicle was orientated in a southwest direction in the southbound lane and south of the police vehicle. The vehicle had extensive front left to mid-left collision damage. The front left wheel and axle assembly were missing and located on the west side of the roadway. Airbags had deployed on the left side of the vehicle. Investigation revealed this vehicle was being operated in a southerly direction on County Road 28, and in the process of turning left (eastbound) onto Ward Street when it collided with an overtaking vehicle.

Figure 2 - The Dodge Ram 2500 with extensive front end damage.

2011 Honda Civic four door (grey)

This vehicle was orientated in a westerly direction in the east side ditch. The vehicle had extensive collision damage to the entire vehicle with the roof having been cut off. Gouge and tire marks were present that commenced in the northbound lane of County Road 28 and within the intersection. The gouge tire marks continued in a southeast direction entering onto the southeast boulevard. The vehicle appeared to have rolled over a minimum of three times while entering the east ditch. The front bumper of the vehicle was located south of the 2004 Dodge Ram and on the centre line.

Figure 3 - The Honda Civic with extensive collision damage located in the east ditch.

Further investigation revealed that the vehicle was being operated southbound on County Road 28 and was overtaking the 2004 Dodge Ram that was turning left when the collision occurred. A man, later identified as Complainant #1, was located in the east ditch and north of the stopped Honda vehicle. Complainant #1 was located face down with his head towards the road and feet towards the east. Complainant #1 had extensive trauma to his back and right shoulder.

Scene Diagram

Complainant Vehicle and Police Vehicle Route - Summary

The route commenced from the north entrance of Kawartha Downs Casino where the SO was positioned and conducting speed enforcement. County Road 28 was a two-lane paved highway in a rural setting. It was noted by the investigator that this was the location in which the SO first observed the 2011 Honda Civic operated by CW #2. There were fields on both sides, with five houses between start to finish. There were three intersections along the route. The first was the main entrance to Kawartha Downs on the west side, 0.45 kilometres from the start. The second was Syer Line on the west side, 0.81 kilometres from the start. The third intersection was Whitfield Drive on the east side, 0.86 kilometres from the start. There were three businesses at Whitfield Road: an Esso gas station on the southeast corner, and Pepsi Beverages Co. and Doyle Plumbing on the opposing west side. There was a crest of a hill at Syer Line, approximately 250 metres north of the collision scene. The distance from the radar setup to the collision was one kilometre.

Expert Evidence

Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) Video Analysis – Reconstructionist Summary

Through analysis of the video footage retrieved by the SIU, an SIU Traffic Reconstructionist determined via the use of time and distance calculations that CW #2 travelled at about 44.66 metres per second, or about 160 km/h, for at least four or five seconds prior to the collision as he passed a vehicle equipped with a dash camera using the southbound left turn lane, then crossed over the solid double yellow centre line and travelled southbound in the northbound lane.

The SIU Reconstructionist concluded that with CW #7 and the vehicle equipped with the dash camera travelling at about the posted speed limit of 80 km/h, the SO likely travelled slightly above 80 km/h, determined through the same analysis and calculations. [2]

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [3]

The SIU searched for and obtained audio and video records of relevance, as set out below.

PPS Radio Communications - Summary

  • 0:00 mins the SO: There’s a collision here right outside the casino on 28. Subject’s crashed. Need fire and EMS;
  • 0:14 mins Dispatch: Is it a single vehicle?
  • 0:18 mins the SO: It’s a truck, [license plate redacted];
  • 0:46 mins the SO: Got one in the ditch, we need a couple of units here;
  • 0:55 mins the SO: Person in the car is in the ditch, he is breathing right now and is conscious;
  • 1:10 mins the SO: Just past the casino on 28, we need a lot of units here;
  • 1:46 mins the SO: There’s two cars, three people in the ditch;
  • 2:37 mins the SO: I’m in the ditch with four people here on the left-hand side of the road coming down 28; 2:48 mins the SO: There’s one not breathing, or he is breathing very softly, people are gurgling blood. There’s arms and legs broken;
  • 3:09 mins the SO: This one is the worst, he is in the left-hand ditch, coming down 28 casino way. He is twitching and breathing a little bit;
  • 3:40 mins WO #1: I am going to be pulling up here;
  • 4:44 mins WO #1: We have a 19-year-old male, I don’t believe he is breathing. He has got a very badly broken right arm, major laceration to his back and he is unconscious;
  • 5:19 mins WO #1: They are just doing CPR on one male now; and
  • 5:40 mins WO #1: One is VSA right now, I’m not getting any pulse.

Dash Camera Summary

A civilian had a Nextbase dashcam mounted in his front windshield next to his rearview mirror on August 6, 2021, which captured the collision between CW #2 and CW #7. The dashcam video was 1:06 minutes in length and was time stamped with global positioning system information displayed. The time of the recording was from 10:39:57 to 10:41:02 p.m. There was no audio recorded.

  • At 10:40:00 p.m., the vehicle was travelling south on County Road 28, departing from Kawartha Downs Casino (located at 1382 County Road 28, Fraserville). There were two streetlamps located on the northbound lanes. Taillights (now known to be the Dodge Ram driven by CW #7) were seen in front of the vehicle. A yellow hazard multiple intersection reflective roadway sign on the southbound shoulder was clearly posted;
  • At 10:40:16 p.m., a left turning lane was seen in the southbound lane for the Esso gas station. Brake lights were seen activated on the Dodge Ram which was in the southbound lane further ahead. There were no streetlamps and it was very dark;
  • At 10:40:18 p.m., a Honda Civic passed the vehicle on the left side in the left turning lane at a high rate of speed. The Honda Civic had its vehicle lights activated and the Dodge Ram still had brakes lights activated with the left turn indicator flashing;
  • At 10:40:21 p.m., CW #2 drove onto the northbound lane from the southbound left turning lane. There were double yellow lines painted on the road;
  • At 10:40:22 p.m., CW #2 collided with the Dodge Ram as the truck made a left turn. The front right of the Honda Civic struck the front left of the Dodge Ram;
  • At 10:40:24 p.m., the Honda Civic was no longer in view. The Dodge Ram lifted into the air and came to a stop in the southbound lane facing southwest. The Dodge Ram’s hazard lights were flashing;
  • At 10:40:30 p.m., the vehicle came to a stop on the southbound shoulder;
  • At 10:40:39 p.m., flashing red and blue lights were seen being reflected off the surroundings;
  • At 10:40:46 p.m., a PPS marked SUV was seen parking in front of the vehicle on the southbound shoulder with its emergency vehicle lights activated. Two men ran towards the Dodge Ram; and
  • At 10:40:57 p.m., the SO exited his police vehicle.

Esso Gas Station CCTV Footage Summary

The Esso gas station was situated northeast of County Road 28 and Ward Street, approximately 100 metres from the intersection, at 1315 County Road 28. There was an exterior gas pump camera located on the west wall of the gas station. The camera captured a portion of County Road 28, pump 5/6, and the eastern side of the Pepsi Co. Beverages located at 1316 County Road 28. There was no audio. The video was date and time stamped, commencing on August 7, 2021 from 10:37:22 to 10:42:22 p.m.

  • At 10:40:11 p.m., vehicle headlights [now known to be the 2004 Dodge Ram 2500, operated by CW #7] travelled southbound on County Road 28;
  • At 10:40:17 p.m., vehicle headlights [now known to be the 2011 Honda Civic operated by CW #2] travelled southbound on County Road 28;
  • At 10:40:28 p.m., a PPS SUV operated by the SO, with emergency lights activated, travelled southbound on County Road 28; and
  • At 10:40:31 p.m., the SO was out of view of the camera.

The Pepsi Beverage Co. CCTV Footage Summary

The Pepsi Beverage Co. warehouse was situated northwest of County Road 28 and Ward Street, approximately 100 metres from the intersection, at 1316 County Road 28. The camera captured video footage consistent with that captured from the Esso gas station but from an opposing view on the west side of County Road 28. There was no audio. The CCTV footage was from August 7, 2021 from 10:38:05 to 10:44:28 p.m. The video was time stamped; however, the time on the video was one hour ahead.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the OPP Peterborough County Detachment and the PPS:
  • Event Details;
  • Casino Video received from OPP;
  • Dashcam Video received from OPP;
  • PPS Communications Recordings;
  • OPP Witness Audio Statements x6;
  • Seized Property List;
  • Sudden Death Report;
  • Motor Vehicle Collision Report; and
  • Notes of WOs.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
  • CCTV Footage-Gas Station, 1315 County Road 28;
  • CCTV Footage-Pepsi Co. Beverages-1316 County Road 28;
  • Dashcam Video;
  • Release of Record to Law Enforcement-Kawartha Lakes EMS;
  • Ambulance Call Report and Incident Report – Kawartha Lakes EMS;
  • Ambulance Call Report and Incident Report – Peterborough EMS;
  • Fax from Sick Kids regarding Complainant #2;
  • Letter from Sick Kids Hospital;
  • Medical Record-Peterborough Regional Health Centre;
  • Medical Record-Peterborough Regional Health Centre-CW #1;
  • Medical Record-Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre-Complainant #3; and
  • Preliminary Autopsy Findings from the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service.

Incident Narrative

The material events in question are clear on the evidence collected by the SIU, which included interviews with the SO, several civilian witnesses directly involved in the collision, and video footage that largely captured the incident.

In the evening of August 6, 2021, the SO was stationary inside his police SUV facing east just off County Road 28 in the area of the Shorelines Slots and Kawartha Downs. He was on duty enforcing the roadway’s speed limit of 80 km/h with a handheld speed measuring device. At about 10:40 p.m., a Honda Civic approached his location travelling south on County Road 28. The officer took two measurements of the vehicle’s speed: 110 and 120 km/h. The SO activated his emergency lights as the Civic sped past him, entered onto the road, and began to give chase.

The driver of the Civic was CW #2. His passengers were Complainant #1, Complainant #2, Complainant #3 and CW #1. Upon seeing the police cruiser behind them, CW #2 accelerated to upwards of 130 km/h. CW #2 had just overtaken a southbound vehicle south of Whitfield Road when he tried to do the same with another southbound vehicle attempting to make a left-turn onto Ward Street, failed to do so, and crashed into the vehicle’s front driver’s side.

The left-turning vehicle was a pickup truck being operated by CW #7. The impact drove the pickup truck a distance south on County Road 28, where it came to rest in the southbound lane facing south and slightly west. Neither CW #7 nor his passenger, CW #3, were seriously injured in the collision.

The Civic was sent careening into the ditch southeast of the County Road 28 and Ward Street intersection where it continued in a southeast direction, rolling multiple times, before coming to rest upwards of 50 metres south of the intersection. But for CW #2, each of the vehicle’s occupants, none of whom had been wearing seatbelts, were ejected from the Civic.

The SO came upon the pickup truck about 15 to 20 seconds after the collision. The officer had lost sight of the Civic over a crest in the road soon after he had started pursuing the vehicle. Realizing what had occurred, the SO radioed for assistance and began to render first-aid to some of the injured civilians from the Civic.

Complainant #1 was pronounced deceased at the scene. At autopsy, the pathologist was of the preliminary view that his death was attributable to blunt force trauma.

The other parties were sent to hospital. Complainant #2 was diagnosed with multiple fractures of her thoracic spine and a broken pelvis. Complainant #3 received extensive fractures throughout his body, including to his skull, T1 vertebra and thoracic spine, which required multiple surgeries.

Relevant Legislation

Section 320.13, Criminal Code – Dangerous operation of motor vehicles, vessels and aircraft

320.13 (1) Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public.

(2) Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public and, as a result, causes bodily harm to another person.

(3) Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public and, as a result, causes the death of another person.

Analysis and Director's Decision

On August 6, 2021, Complainant #1, Complainant #2 and Complainant #3, all young persons, suffered serious injuries when the motor vehicle in which they were passengers crashed in Fraserville. Complainant #1 succumbed to his injuries and died shortly after the collision. As the vehicle had been pursued briefly ahead of the crash by the SO, the SIU was notified and initiated an investigation. The SO was identified as the subject official. The investigation has now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence in connection with this matter.

The offences that arises for consideration are dangerous driving causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing death contrary to sections 320.13(2) and 320.13(3) of the Criminal Code, respectively. Both are 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 any want of care in the manner in which the SO operated his vehicle as he pursued the Civic that caused or contributed to the collision and/or was sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction. In my view, there was not.
The SO was in the discharge of his lawful duties when he activated his lights and decided to drive after the Civic. He was enforcing the speed limit on County Road 28 – 80 km/h – when he clocked CW #2 travelling well over 100 km/h. In the circumstances, the officer was entitled to stop the vehicle for an infraction under the Highway Traffic Act.

I am further satisfied that the SO comported himself with due care and regard for public safety in the course of his short engagement with the Civic, lasting no longer than a minute over about half-a-kilometre. While the SO accelerated to between 130 and 140 km/h, that velocity occurred over a few seconds at the start of the pursuit as the officer attempted to close the distance with the Civic. There is no evidence to suggest that the officer was ever close to the Civic, or that his driving manifestly imperiled any traffic in his vicinity, which was light at the time. In fact, the evidence indicates that the SO was slowing down as he came upon the pickup truck that had been struck.

In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law as he briefly chased the Civic, there is no basis to proceed with criminal charges. The file is closed.

Date: December 3, 2021

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) Complainant #3 had no memory of the incident. [Back to text]
  • 2) The investigator believed the SO had slowed down upon arriving at the collision. The SO had told investigators he initially accelerated to approximately 130 to 140 km/h to catch up to CW #2. [Back to text]
  • 3) 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]


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.