SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-PVD-114
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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 death of a 41-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn April 19, 2022, at 7:15 a.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the SIU with the following information.
On April 19, 2022, at approximately 4:00 a.m., Civilian Witness (CW) #2 and another man [now known to be the Complainant] committed a break and enter in the Huntsville area, stealing approximately $30,000 worth of cigarettes. The two left the area in a vehicle, the description of which was broadcast to police officers in the area. A short time later a Bracebridge OPP officer located the vehicle southbound on Highway 11. Attempts were made to stop the vehicle using a spike belt but that did not work. The vehicle continued, travelling erratically in the area, and continued unsuccessful attempts were made to deploy a spike belt. Eventually, CW #2 and the Complainant came upon a quarry where they abandoned their vehicle and stole another one that they found on the quarry property. They continued to flee the area and the police continued to follow. The police made several more attempts to deploy a spike belt and, ultimately, one was successfully deployed and brought the vehicle to a stop in the area of 8 Line, and Sideroad 15/16, Orillia, where CW #2 was arrested.
The Complainant stole a marked OPP police vehicle and fled.
The Complainant and the vehicle were located a short distance away at Line 5/6, and Sideroad 15/16, where the vehicle had rolled several times. The Complainant was transported to the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) where, at 7:39 a.m., he was pronounced dead.
CW #2 was taken into custody with no reported injuries.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 04/19/2022 at 10:10 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 04/19/2022 at 11:40 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 5
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators (FIs) assigned: 2
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):41-year-old male, deceased
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Not interviewed (next-of-kin)
CW #2 Declined interview
Subject Officials (SO) SO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
Witness Officials (WO) WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on April 25, 2022, and July 18, 2022.
The Scene SIU FIs arrived at the scene and began processing it on April 19, 2022, at 11:40 a.m. At that time, the weather was cool, and wet snow had fallen. The roads were wet.
Side Road 15/16, west of 6 Line, was a paved roadway that ran (predominantly) east to west wide enough to accommodate one lane of traffic in each direction. A portion of the paved roadway was marked with a solid yellow line that separated the eastbound and westbound traffic lanes.
The area was rural, with residences on both sides of the roadway surrounded by fields. Fields populated the majority of the geography.
The road abutted soft gravel shoulders followed by grass lined ditches on both sides.
There were five vehicles within the scene:
Police vehicle 1 was a Dodge Charger. It was a marked police vehicle oriented in a westerly direction partially on the north shoulder of the road and partially in the westbound lane. The exterior was examined and exhibited no fresh collision damage.
Police vehicle 2 was a Ford Interceptor. It was a marked police vehicle oriented in a southwesterly direction in the eastbound lane. The exterior was examined and exhibited no fresh collision damage.
Police vehicle 3 was a Dodge Charger. It was a marked police vehicle oriented in a westerly direction in the eastbound lane. The exterior was examined and exhibited no fresh collision damage.
Police vehicle 4 was a Ford Taurus. It was a marked police vehicle and was oriented in a southerly direction in the south ditch. That vehicle rested on its driver’s side and was extensively damaged, the damage consistent with the vehicle having rolled over repeatedly. The tire marks associated to the vehicle indicated the vehicle was being driven westbound on Sideroad 15/16 when the right wheels left the paved portion of the roadway, entered onto the north side shoulder, and left the roadway west of the driveway to 430 Sideroad 15/16. The vehicle then crossed over the roadway, continued onto the south shoulder, and into the south ditch where it rolled. Vehicle debris was littered throughout the south ditch including the police vehicle’s previously roof-mounted emergency lighting bar and rear bumper.
Police vehicle 5 was a Ford Explorer marked with stealth decals and oriented in an easterly direction in the eastbound lane. The exterior of the vehicle was examined and exhibited no fresh collision damage.
Figure 1 – Image of scene
Figure 2 – Crashed police vehicle
Figure 3 – Image of scene
Route and Route VideoSIU FIs produced a route video commencing on Sideroad 15/16 at 8 Line, the location the Complainant acquired police vehicle 4. At that location, Sideroad 15/16 was paved and abutted by gravel shoulders followed by grass lined ditches. The road ran (generally) east and west and was wide enough to accommodate one lane of traffic in each direction. The area was rural with residences sparsely populated along the route. At that intersection, Sideroad 15/16 had the right of way through its stop sign controlled intersection with 8 Line.
Proceeding west along Sideroad 15/16 there was a speed limit sign posting an 80 km/h limit. Still west, the route approached an intersection with 7 Line. The Grace United Church sat on the northeast corner. That intersection was controlled by an all-way stop. Still west, through the stop, Sideroad 15/16 approached its intersection with 6 Line. Sideroad 15/16 had the right of way through that intersection. Continuing westbound, there were signs warning of hidden driveways and bumps on the roadway. The route ended at the collision scene.
The following image captured the scene, looking west, and depicted Police Vehicle 4’s resting place.
Figure 4 – Screenshot from route video
Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) ResultsAll CFS submissions were made by the pathologist. The result of any analysis is pending receipt of the post-mortem report.
GPS Data Download and Crash Data Retrieval (CDR)Requested on April 19, 2022, and received by the SIU on April 22, 2022, the GPS data relevant to all eight police vehicles engaged at one time or another with the Complainant on April 19, 2022, were examined. The GPS data were captured every 250 metres when a vehicle was in motion, and about every 20 seconds when the vehicle was stationary.
The time span between when the Complainant began to drive police vehicle 4, until the collision, was about 80 seconds.
Police vehicle 4 was stationary on Sideroad 15/16, about 125 metres west of 8 Line North. That was where a pickup truck occupied by CW #2 and the Complainant was stopped. The GPS data indicated that the police vehicle was stopped for about 90 seconds, until 6:04:30 a.m., when it began travelling westbound on Sideroad 15/16. 
At 6:04:31 a.m., one second after the Complainant started westbound in police vehicle 4, police vehicle 5, driven by the SO, was westbound on Sideroad 15/16 East, about 425 metres east of 8 Line North, and therefore about 550 metres east of where the Complainant acquired police vehicle 4.
Between 6:04:30 a.m. to 6:04:46 a.m., the Complainant had accelerated to 150 km/h driving westbound, about 450 metres west of where he acquired police vehicle 4.
At 6:04:51 a.m., 21 seconds after the Complainant drove off in police vehicle 4, the SO slowed to 51 km/h at the location where police vehicle 4 had been stopped. She then accelerated westbound along Sideroad 15/16.
At 6:05:01 a.m., 31 seconds after the Complainant began to drive police vehicle 4, he was westbound at the all-way stop sign controlled intersection of Sideroad 15/16 and 7 Line North. Sixty-eight metres before he reached that intersection, the Complainant’s speed was 151 km/h, suggesting he neither slowed nor stopped at the stop sign; in fact, he entered the intersection at a speed of almost double the speed limit posted for that area.
At 6:05:27 a.m., just less than one minute after the Complainant acquired police vehicle 4, he was 350 metres east of 6 Line North. That intersection was controlled by a stop sign for traffic on 6 Line North, giving the Complainant the right of way. He drove at 188 km/h and continued westbound.
At 6:05:36 a.m., 35 seconds after the Complainant had been there, the SO was westbound at the intersection of Sideroad 15/16 at 7 Line North. She drove at 114 km/h.
The highest speed the SO recorded was 146 km/h. The highest speed the Complainant recorded on the same stretch of road was 188 km/h.
At 6:05:44 a.m., the Complainant was west of 6 Line North and encountered a gentle curve to his right. He had accelerated to 179 km/h as he entered that curve. At about that same time, the SO was just west of 7 Line North, about 1.5 kilometres behind the Complainant, at 142 km/h. The Complainant next entered and exited a gentle curve to his left. At 6:05:47 a.m., three seconds after entering the first curve, the Complainant was westbound at the driveway to the residence at 430 Sideroad 15/16 at 160 km/h.
After 6:05:47 a.m., police vehicle 4 no longer recorded GPS data points. Based on how data points were captured, the lack of data was consistent with the collision having occurred less than 250 metres west of, and less than 20 seconds after, the last GPS data point.
Between 6:04:46 a.m. and 6:05:47 a.m., 61 seconds in total, the Complainant had driven westbound on Sideroad 15/16 at speeds between 150 km/h and 188 km/h.
At 6:05:50 a.m., analysis of the GPS and the CDR data indicated that the collision of police vehicle 4 took place on the south side of the road, about 200 metres west of the driveway to 430 Sideroad 15/16. At that time, the SO was westbound on Sideroad 15 /16 less than halfway between 6 Line North and 7 Line North at 140 km/h, 1.8 kilometres east of the collision. Due to distance and road configuration, that distance was likely in excess of a distance where the SO or WO #3 could have witnessed the crash.
The SO continued westbound at speeds between 140 km/h and 163 km/h, then slowed to 100 km/h as she approached the collision. At 6:06:38 a.m., 48 seconds after the Complainant’s collision, the SO stopped her police vehicle.
The SO attained a maximum speed of 163 km/h while westbound on Sideroad 15/16 while the Complainant attained a maximum speed of 188 km/h. That meant the SO required more time to drive the same distance.
At 6:07:19 a.m., 90 seconds after the collision, a police vehicle, driven by WO #1, with WO #2 as passenger, arrived at the collision and, five seconds after that, police vehicle 1, driven by another officer, arrived.
According to the CDR data, there were two air bag deployment event records for police vehicle 4 four seconds apart and detected by multiple system sensors within the police vehicle. The seat belts were not buckled when the collision occurred.
There were nine seconds of data pertinent to the speed of police vehicle 4, accelerator and brake pedal applications, and steering input. During the nine seconds prior to, and during, the collision, the speed of the police vehicle decreased steadily from 169 km/h to 7 km/h. There was no application of the accelerator or brake pedals. Steering was attempted first left, then right. About three seconds before the first airbag deployment, the police vehicle’s speed was 160 km/h, consistent in time and distance with the last GPS data point captured from the police vehicle before the collision.
Reconstruction ReportThe SIU collision reconstructionist reviewed reports submitted by SIU FIs, scene photographs, measurements, the scale scene diagram, and the Ministry of Transportation Motor Vehicle Collision Report prepared by the OPP, and arrived at the following findings.
The Complainant drove police vehicle 4 westbound on Sideroad 15/16. After negotiating two gentle curves in the road, west of 6 Line North, he lost control near the driveway to 430 Sideroad 15/16. The police vehicle left the paved portion of the road and drove, partially on the gravel shoulder, on the north side of the road, for about 55 metres. It then crossed the road covering a further 35 metres before it entered onto the shoulder on the south side of Sideroad 15/16. It travelled on that south shoulder for about 50 metres before it flipped and rolled over and over for another 42 metres.
The Complainant, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the police vehicle when it rolled.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Police Communication Recordings The recordings were requested on April 19, 2022, and received by the SIU on April 22, 2022.
Radio and Telephone Communications
For the purpose of this report, the summary of the recordings is specific to the police interaction that followed the pickup truck being disabled by a tire deflation device near the intersection of Sideroad 15/16, and 8 Line.
One of the recordings captured a Supervisor (Officer 1) calling a man. Officer 1 said, “They stole a cruiser, I don’t know whose cruiser they stole, but we are going to track it. We will get the helicopter up in the morning and we will give you updates.”
A second call captured a telephone call to a Sergeant (Officer 2), who was on the scene of the rolled police vehicle. Officer 2 said they were treating Sideroad 15/16 as one big scene from the first location to the collision location, and once the seriousness of injuries was determined they would, “Pull the pin on the SIU Liaison Officer.”
A third call, made by another Sergeant (Officer 3) from the Provincial Operations Centre (POC), captured him speaking to a female saying they would need an SIU Liaison to contact the SIU as the arrested man had a broken leg.
A fourth call, to Officer 3 from another officer (Officer 4), asked Officer 3 for details of the incident. Officer 3 said, “Originally it was a break and enter in Huntsville. I don’t know how they got the description of the car or truck, a Bracebridge unit sees the truck heading south on Hwy 11, goes to light it up, nothing, doesn’t engage in a pursuit, just follows it, then eventually the Comm Sergeant tells them to disengage cause the guys driving wild. So, the Orillia guys at that point were already set up to do a belt, they miss him, and he drives off down a side road, they get called off again ‘cause he starts going the wrong way northbound in the southbound on Hwy 11 for a bit. Everyone gets disengaged and told to stay where they are until further notice. They see him go down another side road from where they were stopped, a dead-end side road that leads to a quarry in Hawking’s Corners somewhere. They set up containment, get the dog and ERT  but they cannot find him. Then one of the containment units reported that a truck was flying out of the quarry and heading back to Hwy 11. A unit that was on Hwy 11, sees it, doesn’t try to light him up follows him from a half click behind, the guys doing almost a hundred kilometres down the road. He then starts speeding up and driving like an idiot, so I ordered all our units to pull over. Two units that were south of him at Old Barrie Road and Hwy 11 manage to spike this stolen vehicle number two. He then goes down 15/16 Sideroad. He starts going into oncoming traffic, so I again told the units to pull over. Then I told the units they could resume patrol in the last known direction he was seen. They do so and a few minutes later they find him pulled over on 15/16 Sideroad but he’s now on two wheels. There’s a short foot pursuit, they get the driver but while they are doing that the other guy steals [police vehicle 4]. Next thing I hear on the radio is that someone is doing a buck sixty behind the stolen cruiser, so I go on air and tell them to pull off and immediately disengage. As I am saying that there is a bunch of incoherent shouting saying this is a gunpoint arrest then the rest of the cruisers swarm in and they arrest the guy. The only part that is going to be a pursuit is when they are behind the stolen cruiser—it sucks because there didn’t need to be one.”
Officer 3 then called the POC and told her the prisoner from the collision had died at RVH.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceThe SIU obtained the following records from the OPP between April 20, 2022, and May 24, 2022:
- Collision Report;
- Canadian Police Information Centre report - the Complainant;
- GPS data;
- Maintenance records for police vehicle 4;
- Notes – WO #2;
- Notes – WO #3;
- Notes – WO #1;
- Computer-assisted Dispatch Report;
- CDR report – police vehicle 4;
- Order - Suspect Apprehension Pursuit;
- Police communications recordings; and
- Traffic Unit Information.
In the early morning hours of April 19, 2022, the OPP became involved in an on-again, off-again pursuit of the Complainant and his associate, CW #2. The two were reported to have committed a break and enter in Huntsville, and had left the area fleeing south in a pickup truck on Highway 11. The police followed the pickup truck into a quarry in the area of Nichols Line and Cambrian Road, where the pair abandoned the vehicle - apparently damaged from a spike belt deployment – stole another pickup truck and resumed their flight southward on Nichols Line towards Highway 11. The tires of that vehicle were also damaged when it crossed over another police spike belt on Highway 11 and Old Barrie Road. The Complainant and CW #2 continued towards 13 Line North, where they turned north and then left to travel west on Sideroad 15/16. Police vehicles followed in pursuit.
At a point west of 8 Line, the pickup truck came to a stop. CW #2 exited and ran south into a field. He was chased by officers and arrested. As the officers were occupied with CW #2, the Complainant exited the pickup truck, entered one of the police vehicles that had come to a stop behind their truck – a marked Ford Taurus – and accelerated at speed westward.
Operating a marked cruiser with WO #3 as her passenger, the SO came upon the convoy of vehicles stopped west of 8 Line. She was advised of the Complainant in the stolen police vehicle up ahead, and took off after him at speed. After about three-and-a-half kilometres, the officers came upon the pickup truck. It was resting in the south ditch on its driver’s side. The Complainant was a short distance from the vehicle and was arrested at gunpoint without incident.
The Complainant had travelled west on Sideroad 15/16 at breakneck speeds. Following a curve in the roadway west of 8 Line, he lost control of the police cruiser he had stolen and entered the north and then the south ditch, where the vehicle rolled before coming to a stop. The Complainant had been ejected in the process.
The Complainant was taken to hospital from the scene where he later died.
Cause of DeathThe pathologist at autopsy was of the preliminary view that the Complainant’s death was attributable to multiple blunt force trauma consistent with a motor vehicle collision.
Section 320.13 (1) Criminal Code – Dangerous operation causing bodily harm or death
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. 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 issue is whether there was a 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.
The SO was in the discharge of her lawful duties when she decided to chase after the Complainant for a short stretch on Sideroad 15/16. There was reason to believe that the Complainant had committed a break and enter, and had just stolen a police cruiser.
I am further satisfied that the officer comported herself with due care and regard for public safety, including the Complainant’s safety. There is no suggestion, for example, that the SO drove the Complainant off the road, either directly or by applying unnecessary pressure and preventing him from altering course. The Complainant was bent on escape and had accelerated to about 150 km/h before the officer even became involved in the short-lived pursuit. And there was always a significant distance between the cruisers – upwards of a kilometre. While the roads were not ideal for a high speed engagement – they were wet – there is no evidence of any third-party traffic having been directly imperiled by the SO’s speed. On this record, the evidence falls short of establishing dangerous driving on the part of the SO, much less dangerous driving that contributed to the collision.
In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: August 17, 2022
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) At 6:04:30 a.m., the Complainant drove that police vehicle. [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]
- 3) Emergency Response Team. [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.