SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OVI-181
This page contains graphic content that can shock, offend and upset.
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 section 14 (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 serious injury of a 28-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn July 13, 2022, at 12:19 p.m., the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) notified the SIU of the Complainant’s injury. According to the OPS, on July 13, 2022, the Complainant reported to the OPS that he had suffered a fractured collarbone when he was involved in a collision with an OPS cruiser on July 4, 2022. The OPS further advised that there had been a collision incident involving an OPS vehicle operated by the Subject Official (SO) on July 4, 2022, at 5:02 p.m. The OPS indicated that the SO, with his emergency lights and siren operating, had collided with the Complainant’s vehicle when the SO was proceeding through a red traffic signal light at the intersection of Woodroffe Avenue and Fallowfield Road in Ottawa. The SO was being followed by OPS Witness Official (WO) #1. OPS WO #2 arrived at the intersection shortly after the collision.
The Complainant’s baby, a passenger in the Complainant’s vehicle, had been taken to hospital [now known to be the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario] with the Complainant’s spouse [now known to be the Civilian Witness (CW)], also a passenger in the Complainant’s vehicle. The Complainant had been taken to the Ottawa Hospital - General Site.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 07/13/2022 at 2:01 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 07/13/2022 at 4:25 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 2
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Number of SIU Collision Reconstructionists: 1
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):28-year-old male; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on July 14, 2022.
Civilian Witness CW Interviewed
The civilian witness was interviewed on July 28, 2022.
Subject Official SO Interviewed; notes received and reviewed
The subject official was interviewed August 25, 2022.
Witness Officials WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #4 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #5 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #6 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on July 21, 2022.
The Scene The collision occurred in the intersection of Woodroffe Avenue and Fallowfield Road. Woodroffe Avenue had a north/south bearing, and Fallowfield Road had an east/west bearing.
The intersection was controlled at its quadrants by traffic signal lights.
The posted speed limit for northbound Woodroffe Avenue traffic and for eastbound Fallowfield traffic was 80 km/h.
In the area of the intersection, each respective roadway had four lanes divided into two lanes by north/south and east/west raised concrete medians. There were left-turn lanes for Woodroffe Avenue and Fallowfield Road.
The collision point of impact was several metres southeast of the centre point of the intersection.
SIU Collision Reconstructionist’s FindingsA SIU collision reconstructionist was assigned to this investigation. His findings are outlined in the following sections of this report:
- Video footage;
- Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) Report;
- Global Positioning System (GPS) data;
- Area of Impact; and
The SIU obtained City of Ottawa video footage that captured the intersection of Woodroffe Avenue and Fallowfield Road for the date and times in question. The collision was not recorded on the video as the collision occurred beyond the focal range of the camera, meaning south of and below/behind the camera’s lens that pointed north. The SO’s vehicle was not depicted in the video approaching the intersection, during the collision, or in its position of final rest after the collision. The traffic signal light for Fallowfield Road was not depicted in the video and the only traffic signal lights visible were for northbound Woodroffe Avenue traffic. The northbound straight-through amber signal was 4.6 seconds in duration.
The time at which the recording commenced was 2:30 p.m.
At 2:49:17 p.m., a large white dump truck traveling southbound on Woodroffe Avenue in lane two stopped for a red light, about eight car-lengths back of the stop line. It was towing a trailer with an excavator.
At 2:49:55 p.m., an advanced green signal light for left turning vehicles from northbound Woodroffe Avenue to westbound Fallowfield Road began. The northbound Woodroffe Avenue vehicles that turned left to go west on Fallowfield Road were out of the camera’s focal range except for the shadow of one vehicle.
At 2:50:09 p.m., the northbound Woodroffe Avenue advanced green left turn signal turned amber. At 2:50:10 p.m., the northbound Woodroffe Avenue straight-through signal turned green and, at 2:50:14 p.m., the amber northbound Woodroffe Avenue signal light for turning west onto Fallowfield Road turned red.
At 2:50:18 p.m., southbound Woodroffe Avenue traffic started into the intersection and, at 2:50:20 p.m., northbound Woodroffe Avenue traffic flowed through intersection. At 2:50:21 p.m., the northbound pedestrian control signal started flashing red and counted down. At 2:50:29 p.m., the last northbound vehicle prior to the collision cleared the intersection. The traffic light was still green.
At 2:50:42 p.m., a southbound black pickup truck crossed over the stop line and entered the intersection. Two seconds later, at 2:50:44 p.m., a southbound sedan following the pickup truck crossed over the stop line and entered the intersection. This was the last southbound vehicle to enter the intersection. The traffic signal light for north and southbound Woodroffe Avenue traffic was still green.
The dump truck with the trailer had made it to the stop line but stopped rather abruptly. At 2:50:46 p.m., the traffic signal light for northbound Woodroffe Avenue changed to amber. Four seconds later, at 2:50:50 p.m., a dark-coloured sport utility vehicle travelling southbound on Woodroffe Avenue in lane one [numbered from the centre of the road outwards] stopped beside the dump truck.
By 2:50:50 p.m., the collision had occurred below the view of the camera; a piece of debris entered the focal range of the camera. The traffic light for Woodroffe Avenue was still amber. The Complainant’s vehicle, with fresh damage to the driver’s side, rotated counterclockwise post collision, and moved from the area of impact towards the northeast quadrant of the intersection along with more pieces of debris. Still at 2:50:50 p.m., the traffic light for northbound Woodroffe Avenue changed to red. By 2:50:53 p.m., the Complainant’s vehicle came to rest.
As per the traffic camera data, 21 seconds separated the Complainant’s vehicle from the last vehicle to travel northbound through the intersection prior to the collision.
The location in the video of the debris when it was first visible was consistent with the collision having occurred in the intersection in line with the Complainant driving in lane one, next to the left turn lanes for westbound Fallowfield Road traffic. The eastbound lanes of Fallowfield Road were not in focal range of the camera and did not assist with the determination of which of the two eastbound lanes the collision occurred within.
The collision occurred at the end of the amber phase of the traffic signal light for northbound Woodroffe Avenue traffic.
Airbags were deployed in the SO’s police vehicle during the collision. Data was recorded in the airbag control module (ACM). The ACM was downloaded using the Bosch CDR program by an OPS officer on July 18, 2022. A copy of the CDR report was provided to the SIU and reviewed.
The CDR report contained five seconds of pre-collision data. Using the data from the CDR report, and time/distance calculations, the SO’s location was determined and added to the observations which follow.
Five seconds prior to the collision, the SO’s rate of speed was 0 km/h. The brake was off. The accelerator pedal was depressed 37 percent. The SO was in the intersection, about 7.5 metres past, meaning east of the stop line, and about to cross Woodroffe Avenue’s southbound lane two. Four and one-half seconds prior to the collision, the SO’s speed was 4 km/h. The brake was off. The accelerator was not depressed. He was almost perpendicular across southbound lane two of Woodroffe Avenue.
Four seconds prior to the collision, the SO’s speed was 7 km/h. The brake was on. For the ensuing few seconds, the SO was in the intersection across the two southbound lanes and moving slowly eastbound. Three and one-half seconds prior to the collision, his speed was 6 km/h, and his brake was on.
Three seconds prior to the collision, the SO’s speed was 5 km/h. The brake was off. The accelerator was not depressed. Two and one-half seconds prior to the collision, the SO’s speed was 5 km/h. The brake was off. The accelerator pedal was depressed 74%.
Two seconds prior to the collision, the SO’s speed was 11 km/h. The brake was off. The accelerator was depressed 89%. One and one-half seconds prior to the collision, the SO’s speed was 17 km/h. He approached the centre median of Woodroffe Avenue. The accelerator was depressed 100%.
One second prior to the collision, the SO’s speed was 24 km/h. He was about even with the centre of Woodroffe Avenue. The accelerator was depressed 100%. One half-second prior to the collision, the SO’s speed was 31 km/h. He crossed the two northbound left turn lanes. The accelerator was depressed 89%.
At impact, the SO’s speed was 38 km/h. He was about 25 metres east of the eastbound stop line and about eight metres from clearing the northbound lanes of Woodroffe Avenue. The accelerator was depressed 79%. He had been off the brake for about three and one-half seconds and had been depressing the accelerator for two and one-half seconds.
The police vehicles driven by the SO and WO #1 were equipped with GPS devices that reported data pertaining to the location and rate of speed of each vehicle. The following is a summary of the information derived from the GPS data.
At 2:47:10 p.m., the SO was stationary on the west side of Cedarview Road south of Fallowfield Road. Starting at 2:47:57 p.m., the SO drove eastbound on Fallowfield Road from Cedarview Road to Woodroffe Avenue.
Between Cedarview Road and Woodroffe Avenue, WO #1 drove precisely the same route at almost identical rates of speed as the SO.
Between Cedarview Road and Greenbank Road, the SO’s highest recorded speed at 2:49:01 p.m. was 136.7 km/h. The SO drove 76.3 km/h prior to the intersection of Greenbank Road, and 99.3 km/h after it.
From 2:49:28 p.m. to 2:49:43 p.m., the SO accelerated to 148.5 km/h east of Greenbank Road. About 600 metres east of Greenbank Road, the SO’s speed was recorded at 148 km/h. WO #1, also at 2:49:43 p.m., drove at a rate of speed of 141.9 km/h, about 90 metres behind the SO.
By 2:50:06 p.m., the SO slowed to 80.2 km/h - about half-way to Woodroffe Avenue from Greenbank Road. At 2:50:24 p.m., he drove at a rate of speed of 138.6 km/h west of Woodroffe Avenue. He then slowed as he approached the intersection of Fallowfield Road and Woodroffe Avenue. Eleven seconds later, at 2:50:35 p.m., at a point 238 metres west of the eastbound stop line, the SO drove 71 km/h. About 11 metres east of the stop line [at the intersection], the SO’s speed was, at 2:50:49 p.m., recorded to be 17.7 km/h.
By 2:51:42 p.m., the SO’s vehicle was stationary in the intersection, post collision.
Area of Impact
Both the SO and the Complainant were travelling straight ahead with no evasive steering input prior to the collision.
The SIU’s measurements of the area of impact were based on the SO being eastbound in lane two and the Complainant being northbound in lane one.
Considering the front passenger corner of the police vehicle and the driver side of the Complainant’s vehicle were the primary impacts, the area of impact was about 11 metres north of the northbound stop line, and about 25 metres east of the eastbound stop line in the southeast quadrant of the intersection.
Per the video footage, the collision occurred when the northbound amber traffic signal light had been illuminated for about four seconds.
Regarding the area of impact calculations, the Complainant was about 11 metres north of the stop line when the collision occurred.
The SIU reconstructionist calculated where the Complainant was when the traffic light changed to amber based on the following range of speeds:
o 50 km/h – 45 metres south of the stop line;
o 60 km/h – 56 metres south of the stop line;
o 70 km/h – 68 metres south of the stop line; and
o 80 km/h – 78 metres south of the stop line.
At any of the above rates of speed at which the Complainant may have been driving, he entered the intersection on an amber traffic signal light.
Using a drag factor of .7, the SIU reconstructionist calculated the distance and time required for the Complainant to stop his vehicle had he applied the brakes to stop for the amber traffic light:
o 50 km/h – 14 metres/2 seconds;
o 60 km/h – 20 metres/2.4 seconds;
o 70 km/h – 27 metres/2.8 seconds; and
o 80 km/h – 36 metres/3.2 seconds.
As per the SIU reconstructionist’s calculations, at any of the above rates of speed at which the Complainant may have been driving, he could have stopped for the amber light.
The Complainant drove northbound in lane one. The traffic light for northbound vehicles to turn left onto Fallowfield Road was red and there were large vehicles stopped in the lanes which blocked the Complainant’s view of eastbound Fallowfield Road traffic. The same vehicles which obstructed his view of the eastbound Fallowfield Road traffic would have obstructed the SO’s view of the Complainant’s vehicle. Line of sight obstructions were major factors in this collision.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
OPS Communications Audio RecordingsThe following is a summary of the pertinent radio transmissions.
At 2:45 p.m., July 4, 2022, a woman called 911 to report a motor vehicle collision on Prince of Wales Drive between Fairpark Drive and Winding Way. The woman said that she had driven by a car that was “rear-ended” and she had pulled over up the road. She did not know if an ambulance was required.
At 2:46 p.m., a second 911 call was received, and a man reported that he had hit the car in front of him and that the driver might require an ambulance. It was further reported that the driver in the car that was struck had said he was okay, and that another person had come to his aid. The 911 caller was not sure if an ambulance was required.
The SO was dispatched to Fairpark Drive and Prince of Wales Drive for a motor vehicle collision with injuries.
The next communication was from WO #1 reporting a motor vehicle collision on Fallowfield Road [now known to be the collision relevant to this investigation]. The SO was heard stating he was involved in the collision.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the OPS between July 15, 2022, and August 24, 2022:
- GPS data – WO #1;
- GPS data – the SO;
- Police Cruiser Mechanical Inspection Report;
- Communications audio recordings;
- CDR Report;
- Motor Vehicle Collision Report;
- Investigative Action – WO #2;
- Investigative Action – the SO;
- Civilian Witness Statements (x2);
- Ministry of Transportation search information - the SO;
- Notes – WO #1;
- Notes – WO #5;
- Notes – the SO;
- Notes – WO #2;
- Notes – WO #6;
- Notes – WO #4;
- Notes – WO #3;
- SIU Engagement Policy;
- Screenshot of SIU disclosure USB contents;
- Police Vehicle Collisions Policy;
- Remote Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD) Report;
- Remote CAD Summary;
- Witness Statement - the Complainant (with photos); and
- Written detailed explanation regarding OPS timeline on SIU reporting.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
- City of Ottawa video footage – Woodroffe Avenue and Fallowfield Road;
- City of Ottawa Traffic Signal Display Chart – July 4, 2022;
- Medical records – Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario;
- Medical records – Ottawa Hospital;
- Medical records – Queensway Carleton Hospital;
- Ottawa Paramedic Services records; and
- Social media photographs from the Complainant.
In the afternoon of July 4, 2022, the Complainant was operating his vehicle – a Hyundai – northbound in the passing lane of Woodroffe Avenue. With him in the backseat, appropriately restrained, were his wife and newborn baby. As the Complainant approached and then entered the roadway’s intersection with Fallowfield Road, his vehicle collided with a police cruiser travelling eastbound.
The SO was operating the cruiser. He was en route to the scene of a motor vehicle collision making his way eastward on Fallowfield Road towards the Woodroffe Avenue intersection.
The collision sent both vehicles rotating in the intersection, where they came to rest. With the help of an off-duty nurse  at the scene, the Complainant’s family was extricated from the Hyundai and helped to the northeast corner of the intersection.
The Complainant and his wife and child were taken to hospital. Only the Complainant was diagnosed and treated for injury – a fractured left collarbone.
The SO was also without serious injury.
Section 320.13 (1) Criminal Code – Dangerous Operation Causing Bodily Harm
Sections 144(18) and 14(20), Highway Traffic Act -- Red Light Exemption144 (18) Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing a circular red indication and facing the indication shall stop his or her vehicle and shall not proceed until a green indication is shown.
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. As an offence of penal negligence, a simple want of care will not suffice to give rise to liability. Rather, 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 observed in the circumstances. In the instant case, the issue is whether there was a want of care in the manner in which the SO operated his vehicle, sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction, that caused or contributed to the collision. In my view, there was not.
The SO was in the execution of his lawful duties as he drove eastward towards the site of the collision. He had been dispatched, and was responding, to the scene of motor vehicle collision that had reportedly involved injury.
I am also satisfied that the SO comported himself with due care and regard for public safety as far as the criminal law goes, even if he appears to have fallen short in his duty of care under section 144(20) of the Highway Traffic Act. The section requires the driver of an emergency vehicle to only proceed through a red light, after first coming to a stop, when it is safe to do so. The very fact of an accident suggests that the SO was in contravention of the provision. Lending credence to the suggestion is evidence that the officer, as he neared the midway point of the intersection, started to accelerate across the northbound lanes of Woodroffe Avenue notwithstanding sightline obstructions. One might have thought that the SO would have proceeded more prudently, inching forward to ensure the path was clear.
That said, there are a number of extenuating considerations in the circumstances surrounding the SO’s travel through the intersection that render his indiscretion something less than a marked departure from a reasonable standard of care. The officer had come to a full stop at the red light, with his emergency lights and siren activated, before slowly entering after traffic had started to come to a stop. He was cautious enough to avoid colliding with one or two southbound vehicles that had failed to yield. And there is no indication that the officer was wanting vis-à-vis section 144(20) in the manner in which he had traversed the prior intersections en route to the call for service.
In the result, when the totality of the circumstances around the collision are weighed in the balance, I am not able to reasonably conclude that the SO transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. As such, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: November 10, 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]
- 2) Despite efforts, the SIU was unable to identify this witness. [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.