SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-PVI-261
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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 injuries a 70-year-old woman (the “Complainant”) suffered.
Notification of the SIUOn August 16, 2021, at 11:43 p.m., the OPP reported that on August 16, 2021, at 8:51 p.m., an ambulance was requested to attend the intersection of 9th Line, Beckwith and Derry Line, Carleton Place. An OPP vehicle and two civilian vehicles had been involved in a collision. The officer operating the police vehicle was taken to hospital and was cleared of injuries. The driver of civilian vehicle #1 was taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries. The driver of civilian vehicle #2 had been admitted at the Carleton Place Hospital and was in critical condition.
The OPP confirmed that the OPP had not been responding to a call for service at the time.
The scene had been secured.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 08/17/2021 at 12:30 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 08/17/2021 at 3:43 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 2
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):70-year-old female, not interviewed due to severity of injuries
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between August 17 and 18, 2021.
Subject Official (SO)SO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
The Scene On August 17, 2021, at 3:43 a.m., the SIU Forensic Investigator arrived at the intersection of Beckwith Township 9th Line and Cemetery Side Road, near Carleton Place. The SIU met with OPP reconstructionists who were in the process of documenting the scene.
The scene was a cross intersection, with the 9th Line oriented east-west, and Cemetery Side Road travelling north from the intersection, and Derry Side Road travelling south.
Figure 1 – CW #2’s vehicle
Figure 2 – The SO’s police vehicle
Figure 3 – The SO’s police vehicle and CW #1’s vehicle
Forensic Evidence Global Positioning System (GPS)
The OPP provided a GPS data table for the SO’s OPP SUV, for August 16, 2021. The following is an excerpt.
|ORDER||DATE TIME (YYYYMMDDHHMMSS ES/ED)||LATITUDE||LONGITUDE||SP M/PH||SPD KM/PH||HEADING|
Bosch Crash Data Retrieval (CDR)The following data were retrieved from the CDR System on the SO’s police SUV.
Event Data Recorder (EDR) SystemThe following data were retrieved from the EDR System contained within CW #2’s vehicle.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
OPP Communication RecordingsOn August 23, 2021, the SIU received three audio files of communications from the OPP in connection with the collision that occurred on August 16, 2021 at 9th Line and Cemetery Side Road in Beckwith. The audio files were reviewed, and determined to contain nothing of significant evidentiary value.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from the OPP between August 19, 2021 and December 9, 2021:
- Will Say – OPP Technical Analyst;
- GPS Data – the SO’s vehicle;
- Communications Recordings;
- Reconstruction Report;
- Officer Notes (x9);
- OPP mobile phone data for the SO; and
- Witness Statement-CW #1.
At about 8:50 p.m. of August 16, 2021, CW #2 was operating his vehicle – a Hyundai Elantra – westbound on 9th Line approaching its intersection with Derry Side Road, Beckwith. With him in the front passenger seat was his wife – the Complainant. Their vehicle was travelling at about 80 km/h at the time, which was the speed limit in the area.
At about the same time, the SO was driving a police SUV north on Derry Side Road. Having stopped for a stop sign on 9th Line, the officer slowly entered the intersection. As the cruiser crossed into the westbound lane of 9th Line, its passenger side was struck by the front end of CW #2’s vehicle.
The collision propelled the cruiser a distance north and west, where it came upon and struck a vehicle stopped at a stop sign facing south at 9th Line. The Hyundai Elantra came to rest in the centre of the intersection.
Of those involved in the collision, the Complainant was the only one to have been diagnosed with serious injuries. Those injuries included a torn aorta.
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 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 question is whether there was a want of care in the manner in which the SO operated his vehicle, that caused or contributed to the collision, sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction. In my view, there was not.
The weight of the evidence clearly suggests that the SO was responsible for the collision. Unlike the SO, CW #2 was not faced with a stop sign and had the right of way through the intersection. Conversely, the officer, having stopped at the stop sign for Derry Side Road northbound traffic through 9th Line, was under a legal obligation to only enter the intersection when it was safe to do so. The very fact of a collision is strong evidence that the officer failed in his duty. In addition, it would appear, on the weight of the evidence, that CW #2 had little opportunity to avoid striking the cruiser despite his attempt to maneuver around the south side of the police vehicle.
The SO indiscretion, however, was not criminal in nature. While it is not clear why the SO did what he did – the officer having exercised his legal right to remain silent – the evidence at its highest suggests the officer’s carelessness resulted from a momentary lapse of care. There was no evidence of improper driving before the officer entered the intersection. As the case law makes clear, this will rarely be sufficient to transgress the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law: R v Beatty,  1 SCR 49; R v Roy,  2 SCR 60.
In the result, I am satisfied there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO’s conduct departed markedly from a reasonable standard of care. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case.
Date: December 14, 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]
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.