SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-PVI-314
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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.
- 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 47-year-old man (“Complainant #1”) and an 18-year-old man (“Complainant #2”).
Notification of the SIUOn September 21, 2021 at 1:55 p.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and reported the following.
On September 21, 2021 at 9:20 a.m., a marked OPP cruiser travelled northbound on 15th Sideroad, approaching 7th Line, in New Tecumseth, Ontario. A civilian vehicle was eastbound on 7th Line. The civilian vehicle reportedly failed to stop for a stop sign and struck the OPP cruiser.
Two occupants in the civilian vehicle were transported to the Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) in Alliston.
The OPP had begun processing the scene.
Approximately four hours later, the hospital determined that the driver of the civilian vehicle had suffered some fractures to his ribs and sternum.
As the OPP had almost completed their investigation, they were advised by the SIU to finish so the intersection could be opened for rush hour traffic.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 09/21/2021 at 2:51 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 09/21/2021 at 3:34 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Number of SIU Collision Reconstructionists assigned: 1
Affected Persons (aka “Complainants”): Complainant #1 47-year-old male interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed
Complainant #2 18-year-old male interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed
The complainants were interviewed on September 21, 2021.
Civilian WitnessesCW Interviewed
The civilian witness was interviewed on September 23, 2021.
Subject OfficialsSO Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject official’s legal right.
The subject official was interviewed on November 10, 2021.
Witness OfficialsWO Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
The Scene The Complainants sustained their injuries in the intersection of 15th Sideroad and 7th Line, New Tecumseth. 15th Sideroad travelled in a north and south direction, with 7th Line intersecting east and west. 7th Line was controlled by a stop sign at the east and west side of the intersection with an overhead flashing red light. 15th Sideroad had the right-of-way with an overhead flashing amber light.
There was a total of two motor vehicles involved, directly contained within the cordoned-off scene. The vehicles were as follows:
Chevrolet Equinox (black)This vehicle was orientated northwest partially in the ditch at the northwest corner of the intersection. There was considerable collision damage to the front end. The collision airbags had been deployed.
Figure 1 - Complainant #1's Chevrolet Equinox.
Ford Taurus (black/white)This vehicle was a marked police vehicle displaying graphics adopted by the OPP. It was orientated northwest of the intersection, in the west ditch of 15th Sideroad, north of the intersection. There was extensive collision damage to the front end and passenger side of the vehicle. Airbag deployment was found inside the front seat area of the vehicle.
Figure 2 - The SO's police vehicle.
Figure 3 - Damage to the front of the police vehicle.
SIU Collision Reconstructionist Report SummaryComplainant #1 travelled westbound on 7th Line. The posted speed limit on 7th Line was 70 km/h. The SO travelled northbound on 15th Sideroad. The posted speed limit on 15th Sideroad was 80 km/h. The weather and road conditions were good. It was daylight.
Analysis of OPP Vehicle:
The Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) data of the OPP vehicle were reviewed, as were the Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) data. The second to last AVL data point, and the CDR speed recorded five seconds pre-collision, were captured when the SO was about 100 metres south of the area of impact and travelling at about 72 km/h. The final AVL data point and the CDR speed recorded were two seconds pre-collision. The SO was 50 metres before the area of impact and travelling 74 km/h. The SO had travelled northbound on 15th Sideroad for about 2.3 kilometres prior to the collision, not exceeding a speed of 80 km/h
Analysis of Chevrolet Equinox
For approximately five seconds preceding the collision, Complainant #1 travelled consistently at about 68 to 70 km/h. He entered the intersection having not applied the brakes.
The SO’s police vehicle entered the intersection prior to Complainant #1’s vehicle. The front of Complainant #1’s Chevrolet struck the passenger side of the SO’s police vehicle. Both vehicles veered towards the northwest corner of the intersection and off the travelled portion of the road.
The evidence reviewed was consistent with the SO having been driving properly with the right of way over Complainant #1.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence The SIU searched for and obtained audio records of relevance, as set out below.
Provincial Communications Centre (PCC)
The recording commenced at 9:19:36 a.m. with a duration of 8 minutes and 22 seconds.
The SO contacted the PCC and advised that he had been involved in a collision at Sideroad 15 and 7th Line. He advised that a vehicle had driven into the side of his vehicle. The SO requested Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for the other vehicle.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the OPP Nottawasaga Detachment (Alliston):
- Computer-assisted Dispatch Event Details;
- CDR Data
- Email from OPP-Case Information;
- General Report;
- OPP Communication Recordings – 911 and Radio;
- OPP GPS Data;
- Interview Reports for the Complainants and the CW;
- Motor Vehicle Collision Report;
- Notes of the WO;
- Technical Collision Field Notes-the WO; and
- Vehicle Examination Field Notes-Chevrolet-the WO.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
- Medical Information – Complainant #1 - SMH; and
- Medical Information – Complainant #2 - SMH.
In the morning of September 21, 2021, the SO was on patrol in a marked OPP cruiser travelling north on 15th Sideroad in New Tecumseth. He entered the intersection of 7th Line with the right-of-way between 70 to 80 km/h, and was struck by a Chevrolet Equinox travelling west through the intersection.
Complainant #1 was driving the Chevrolet. His son – Complainant #2 – was a passenger. The vehicle had entered the intersection travelling at about 70 km/h without stopping or slowing for a stop sign.
The impact sent both vehicles off the road towards the northwest corner of the intersection.
Following the collision, the SO went to check on the well-being of the complainants and made arrangements to have EMS contacted.
Complainant #1 was diagnosed at hospital with a fractured sternum and back, and broken ribs. Complainant #2 had also fractured his back.
Section 320.13, Criminal Code – Dangerous operation causing bodily harm
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 question is whether there was any want of care in the manner in which the SO operated his cruiser that caused or contributed to the collision and was sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction. There was not.
It is apparent on the evidence that Complainant #1 caused the collision. For whatever reason, Complainant #1 did not stop or slow down as he approached the stop sign for westbound traffic at 15th Sideroad. On the other hand, the SO was not faced with a stop sign as he approached 7th Line travelling north on Sideroad 15, and had the right-of-way. Speed does not appear to have been a factor in the collision as both motorists were travelling at about the speed limit in clear conditions.
On the aforementioned-record, there is no evidence to indicate that the SO transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the officer, and the file is closed.
Date: January 19, 2022
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]
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