SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OVD-026
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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 the deaths of a 38-year-old man (“Complainant #1”) and a 41-year-old man (“Complainant #2”).
Notification of the SIUOn January 28, 2022, at 10:43 p.m., the Peterborough Police Service (PPS) notified the SIU of multiple vehicle deaths after a discontinued pursuit.
The PPS advised that, at 9:36 p.m., the Subject Official (SO) was en route to assist with an ‘impaired driver’ matter. The SO was eastbound on Lansdowne Street when a westbound vehicle went through a red light at Park Street. The SO turned around and activated the emergency lights. The officer lost sight of the vehicle and turned off the emergency lights. The SO turned around again and continued to the ‘impaired driver’ matter. A short time later, the vehicle that disregarded the red light collided with the back of another vehicle. There were two occupants of the vehicle that was rear-ended, each dead as a result of the collision.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 01/28/2022 at 11:05 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 01/29/2022 at 1:49 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2
Number of SIU Collision Reconstructionists assigned: 1
Affected Persons (aka “Complainants”):Complainant #1 38-year-old male, deceased
Complainant #2 41-year-old male, deceased
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
CW #6 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
CW #7 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between January 29, 2022, and January 31, 2022.
Subject OfficialsSO #1 Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right. Notes received and reviewed.
Witness OfficialsWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on February 3, 2022.
The SceneThe incident took place at the intersection of Lansdowne Street and Webber Avenue.
Lansdowne Street travelled in an east and west direction with a posted speed limit of 50 km/h. There were two paved lanes in each direction with a raised concrete median separating the east and west lanes, and a shared left turn lane.
Webber Avenue travelled north and south from Lansdowne Street.
The intersection of Lansdowne Street and Webber Avenue was controlled with overhead traffic control lights that appeared to function as designed. There was a traffic control light post positioned on the east end of the median. The pole had been struck and severed at the base. The remainder of the pole was located on the south side of Lansdowne Street. Gouge marks were found west of the traffic median and in the middle of the roadway.
A debris field of automotive parts started at the raised median and continued on Lansdowne Street in a westerly direction to the stopped Infiniti vehicle. A fluid trail commenced west of the raised median and continued in a westerly direction in the middle of the roadway to the stopped Infiniti car.
The following two vehicles were found within the scene.
Vehicle 1 – Infiniti G35, grey, coupeThe vehicle was orientated in a northern direction and was partially in the left turn lane and the left westbound lane. The vehicle was on its roof with extensive collision damage.
Figure 1 – The Infiniti G35 that was occupied by Complainant #1 and Complainant #2.
Vehicle 2 – Nissan Qashqai, black, compact SUVThe vehicle was orientated in a westerly direction west of the Infiniti. The vehicle had extensive collision damage to the rear end.
Figure 2 – The Nissan Qashqai that was occupied by CW #1 and CW #2.
GPS Data – The SO’s CruiserThe PPS cruiser driven by the SO was equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver which captured data related to the time, location, and speed of the vehicle.
The following is a summary of the GPS data from the SO’s police cruiser:
- At 9:31:00 p.m., the SO exited a parking lot on Monaghan Road near Albert Street and drove 900 metres southbound to Lansdowne Street. The maximum recorded speed was 55 km/h.
- The SO turned left onto Lansdowne Street and drove eastbound 600 metres to Park Street South.
- At about 9:33 p.m., the SO slowed to about 9 km/h in the eastbound lanes of Lansdowne Street at Park Street South.
- At 9:33:33 p.m., the SO executed a U-turn around the centre median that separated the eastbound lanes from the westbound lanes. The SO accelerated and drove westbound on Lansdowne Street towards Monaghan Road.
- At 9:33:46 p.m., the SO was westbound on Lansdowne Street, 268 metres west of Park Street South (or, about halfway between Park Street South and Monaghan Road). The SO achieved a maximum recorded speed of 127 km/h, and then slowed but continued westbound.
- At 9:33:57 p.m., the SO was 60 metres east of Monaghan Road, and executed a U-turn from the westbound lanes back into the eastbound lanes. The SO drove 525 metres between the two U-turns in about 24 seconds.
- At 9:34:00 to 9:35:00 p.m., the SO drove eastbound on Lansdowne Street, past Park Street South, and a further 1.6 kilometres eastbound to Lansdowne Street east of River Road South.
- At 9:35:49 p.m., the SO stopped near the Best Western Plus Otonabee Inn which was between River Road South and Ashburnham Drive, and remained stationary.
- At 9:38:09 p.m. (less than one minute after the collision was dispatched), the SO drove westbound on Lansdowne Street. The SO drove past Park Street South, Monaghan Road, and The Parkway towards the collision scene at Webber Avenue. The maximum recorded speed of the cruiser was 109 km/h.
- At 9:41:14 p.m., the SO arrived at the collision scene at Lansdowne Street and Webber Avenue.
- As the SO responded to the collision scene, it took about 74 seconds to travel from Monaghan Road to the collision scene – an average speed of about 73 km/h.
- The SO was stationary at the collision scene for about 15 seconds.
- At 9:42:00 to 9:54:00 p.m., the SO’s police cruiser was stationary at an intersection just west of the collision.
Figure 3 - Screenshot from Google Earth, modified to depict the SO's manner of driving.
Video/Audio/Photographic EvidenceThe SIU searched for and obtained audio and video records of relevance, as set out below.
911 CallsFile 1
At 9:34:52 p.m., on January 28, 2022, a woman called 911 and informed the dispatcher that a collision had just occurred in front of the Shoeless Joe Restaurant on Lansdowne Street, Peterborough. The woman stated that two vehicles were involved in the collision and one of the vehicles had flipped over. She could not see the driver of the vehicle but needed an ambulance to urgently attend.
At 9:35:08 p.m., a caller made a call to 911. The caller reported that a serious collision had just occurred in front of a business, and an ambulance was required.
At 9:35:14 p.m., a woman [now known to be CW #2] called 911. CW #2 said that she was around the Sobeys supermarket on Lansdowne Street, and that there had been a collision between her vehicle and another vehicle [now known to be an Infiniti G35]. She stated that the Infiniti had rear-ended her vehicle and flipped upside down.
Police CommunicationsFile 1
At 9:37:17 p.m., the PPS stated that it had received a report of a collision around the Sobeys supermarket. The PPS advised that one vehicle [the Infiniti G35] was on its side, and that Fire Services and EMS (Emergency Medical Services) had been contacted and were en route to the scene. PPS officers were requested to attend immediately.
At 9:39:12 p.m., a PPS officer [now known to be WO #2] reported that there was a lot of debris on the road upon his arrival. He requested additional officers to assist with traffic control and to divert traffic from Lansdowne Street. WO #2 reported that the Infiniti was upside down. It was completely crushed with somebody inside. The person inside did not have a pulse.
At 9:42:28 p.m., WO #2 requested that PPS reconstruction officers attend.
At 9:42:30 p.m., a PPS officer [now known to be the SO] called the Communications Sergeant via radio and was trying to reach the Officer-in-Charge (OIC). The SO believed the Infiniti was the same one they had earlier tried to stop. The SO had seen the Infiniti on Lansdowne Street while responding to a call to assist a PPS officer dealing with an impaired driver. The SO reported that the Infiniti went through a red light at the intersection of Lansdowne Street and Park Street. The SO activated the emergency lights and turned westbound in pursuit of the Infiniti. The SO followed the Infiniti for about ten seconds and stopped because the Infiniti had disappeared. The SO then turned around and proceeded eastbound to assist with the initial call.
Call to OIC
At 9:45:47 p.m., the SO called the OIC because the SO believed that the incident was going to be an SIU case. The SO advised that they were eastbound on Lansdowne Street to assist another officer. Just as the SO approached Park Street, an Infiniti went through the red light at the intersection. The SO activated their emergency lights and made a U-turn into the westbound lane to follow and stop the Infiniti. Shortly after, the SO stopped and turned the emergency lights off as the Infiniti sped away in the distance. The SO turned around and proceeded eastbound to assist with their initial call. The OIC asked if the SO had made a radio call to report the attempted stop because they had not heard any. The SO said that they did not make a radio call because they had barely followed the Infiniti for about ten seconds and thought it was not worth pursuing; although the SO almost called-in to report the incident, they ended up not doing so. The OIC advised the SO to attend the station.
Video FootageShoeless Joe’s Restaurant - 1135 Lansdowne Street
The following is a summary of the video footage obtained from this location.
The Shoeless Joe’s Restaurant was located on the south side of Lansdowne Street West. It had a security camera labelled ‘Patio 1’ at the front of the building. The security camera had a view of the eastbound and westbound lanes of Lansdowne Street West up to the intersection at Webber Avenue.
At 9:34:09 p.m., the eastbound and westbound traffic lights appeared to turn red as vehicles came to a stop at the intersection at Webber Avenue.
At 9:34:18 p.m., the eastbound and westbound traffic began to move. Shortly after, a vehicle with bright headlights [now known to be the Nissan Qashqai operated by CW #2] travelled westbound and appeared at the intersection. The Nissan was closely followed by another vehicle [now known to be the Infiniti G35 operated by Complainant #1] which appeared to be travelling at a high rate of speed through the intersection.
At 9:34:22 p.m., the Infiniti vehicle collided into the back of the Nissan and flipped onto its roof. Both vehicles slid westbound along Lansdowne Street until they came to rest just outside of camera view.
At 9:34:56 p.m., two bystanders ran towards the Nissan and Infiniti.
Approximately five minutes later, at 9:39:43 p.m., the emergency lights of the first PPS police cruiser appeared in the westbound lanes of Lansdowne Street at the Webber Avenue intersection. The police cruiser stopped several feet behind the Infiniti G35. The police officer [now known to be WO #2] exited his vehicle and walked towards the Infiniti and the Nissan.
At 9:41:10 p.m., an ambulance, and another police cruiser arrived but soon went out of view of the security camera. They were followed by a fire truck.
At 9:48:45 p.m., a police officer [now known to be the SO] arrived and met with WO #2 and another police officer at the upper end of the screen. After what appeared like a brief conversation between them, the SO and the two other police officers walked towards the Infiniti and the Nissan before they disappeared from the view of the security camera.
At 9:49:56 p.m., the security camera footage ended.
Kawartha TV and Stereo -188 Park Street – Intersection 1 Camera
At 9:31:12 p.m., the video began.
The video depicted the intersection of Park Street at Lansdowne Street West.
At 9:37:16 p.m., a police cruiser with its emergency lights activated proceeded west on Lansdowne Street West through the intersection of Park Street.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the PPS:
- Advanced Log Data and Collisions Report;
- Complainant #1 – Homicide - Sudden Death Report;
- Complainant #2 – Homicide - Sudden Death Report;
- Event Chronology;
- GPS and Speed Data;
- Notes of the SO and WOs;
- PPS communications recordings; and
- PPS photographs.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
- Video footage from 741 Lansdowne Street-Shoppers Drug Mart;
- Video footage from 1018 Lansdowne Street-Winslow Gorolamy Motors;
- Video footage from 1074 Lansdowne Street-Quality Inn;
- Video footage from Kawartha TV and Stereo;
- Video footage from Shoeless Joe’s Restaurant; and
- Video footage from 727 Lansdowne Street-Tag Dental.
In the evening of January 28, 2022, Complainant #1 was operating an Infiniti vehicle at speed westward along Lansdowne Street. Complainant #2 was in the front passenger seat. The vehicle approached and entered the roadway’s intersection with Webber Avenue on a green light, struck the centre traffic light signal pole at the west end of the intersection, and rear-ended a Nissan Qashqai.
The SO, while travelling eastward on Lansdowne Street en route to another call for service, had noticed the Infiniti accelerating past their cruiser in the area of the Park Street intersection – about two kilometres from the site of the collision. Deciding to stop the Infiniti for a traffic infraction, the SO had executed a U-turn at the Park Street intersection, activated their emergency lights, and accelerated after the Infiniti. The officer abandoned the pursuit as they approached Monaghan Road, performed another U-turn and continued to the site of the initial call for service. Several minutes later, the SO heard a radio dispatch regarding a motor vehicle collision at the intersection of Lansdowne Street and Webber Avenue. With other officers, the SO made their way to the collision site and realized it involved the Infiniti they had encountered.
The Infiniti had come to rest following the collision facing north in the middle of the road. Its two occupants, both vital signs absent, were extricated from the vehicle by first responders and sent to hospital. Both were subsequently pronounced deceased.
The occupants of the Nissan – CW #1 and CW #2 – were not seriously injured in the collision.
Section 320.13 (1) Criminal Code – Dangerous operation
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offence that arises for consideration is dangerous driving causing death contrary to section 320.13(3) of the Criminal Code. A simple want of care is insufficient to give rise to liability for the offence. Rather, what is required, in part, is conduct that amounts to a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised. In the instant case, the issue is whether there was any want of care on the part of the SO, sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction, that caused or contributed to the collision. In my view, there was not.
It is not clear that the Infiniti, as the SO asserts in their notes, had travelled through a red light at Park Street. Another officer in a separate cruiser at the same intersection – WO #1 – indicated that the Infiniti had made a left-turn onto westbound Lansdowne Street from Park Street on a green light. Be that as it may, the evidence establishes that the Infiniti, once past the intersection, was quickly in excess of the posted speed limit of 50 km/h. On this record, therefore, I am satisfied that the officer was in the execution of their duty as they turned their cruiser to investigate a potential Highway Traffic Act infraction.
Thereafter, in the course of a very brief engagement, I am also satisfied that the SO comported themselves with due care and regard for public safety. The officer had travelled no more than half-a-kilometre when they discontinued the pursuit, slowed and turned around again to resume their travel to the initial call for service. The decision was a wise one – by that time, the Infiniti was far ahead of the officer travelling significantly in excess of the speed limit. While the officer did reach a speed as high as 127 km/h in these few moments, they did so with their emergency lights on and without any indication of third-party traffic having been directly imperiled by their cruiser. Finally, the SO was nowhere near the site of the collision at Lansdowne Street and Webber Avenue when it occurred.
In the result, there are no reasonable grounds on the aforementioned-record to believe that the SO transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law in their brief engagement with the Infiniti. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file is closed.
Date: May 26, 2022
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) In fact, the occupants in the vehicle that was rear-ended did not suffer any injuries. The occupants of the fleeing vehicle were both deceased. [Back to text]
- 2) 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.