SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-PCD-187
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 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 66-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn July 22, 2022, at 2:58 p.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the SIU and reported the death of the Complainant.
According to the OPP, on July 22, 2022, at approximately 12:27 p.m., OPP officers were conducting a Reduce Impaired Driving Event (RIDE) program on the Highway 401 westbound off-ramp at Moulinette Road. The Complainant was pulled over and had been consuming alcohol. As officers were preparing to administer the Roadside Screening Device, the Complainant fled the scene. Officers pursued briefly but were called off.
A short time later, officers went to look for the Complainant at his residence. While driving along Gravel Pit Road, officers noticed what appeared to be a fresh gap in a cornfield that looked like a vehicle had driven through it. Upon investigating the path in the cornfield, officers came upon the Complainant’s vehicle and found the Complainant behind the wheel. The officers arrested the Complainant and he resisted. The Complainant suddenly stopped resisting and went into distress.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were called, and officers took life-saving measures. EMS was unable to resuscitate the Complainant and he was pronounced deceased on scene.
The OPP contacted the Coroner’s Office, which requested that the Complainant’s body be moved from the scene as soon as possible as prolonged exposure to the current ambient temperatures would have detrimental effects on the accuracy of toxicology. The OPP were requested to take photographs prior to body removal.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 07/22/2022 at 3:15 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 07/22/2022 at 9:13 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2
Number of SIU Collision Reconstructionists Assigned: 1
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):66-year-old male; deceased
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
CW #2 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Interviewed
CW #6 Interviewed
CW #7 Interviewed
CW #8 Interviewed
CW #9 Interviewed
CW #10 Interviewed
CW #11 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between July 23, 2022, and August 30, 2022.
Subject Officials (SO)SO #1 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
SO #2 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
SO #3 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on July 24, 2022.
The Scene On July 22, 2022, at 9:13 p.m., the SIU arrived on scene.
There were two areas of interest held by OPP officers: the location of a single motor vehicle collision involving the Complainant’s truck and subsequent arrest scene in a cornfield (“Area A”), and the intersection of Eamon Road and Gravel Pit Road, where two sets of tire marks had been identified (“Area B”).
The OPP were permitted to conduct an examination of the intersection prior to the arrival of SIU but were instructed not to disturb the area of the arrest or the Complainant’s truck.
A SIU forensic investigator viewed the location of the cones placed by the OPP investigators on Eamon Road, and they were subsequently replaced by SIU cones as the cones accurately indicated the tire marks leading into the field west of Gravel Pit Road.
The OPP held the scene overnight for examination to continue during daylight.
Eamon Road, which was a straight-levelled asphalt surface, was oriented in an east-west direction in an area of scattered farmhouses and open fields. There were no road markings, curbs, or streetlights, and shallow grass ditches lined the road on either side.
Eamon Road met Gravel Pit Road at a T-intersection. There was no signage to control the intersection for westbound traffic on Eamon Road. At the intersection, Eamon Road continued southbound.
Gravel Pit Road, which was a rural roadway, was oriented in a north-south direction and ran north from Eamon Road. It ran among open fields, cornfields, and wooded areas on either side. There was one residence on the northeast corner of the intersection. Southbound traffic was controlled by a yield sign at the intersection at Eamon Road. The intersection at Eamon Road was asphalt and turned to gravel north of the intersection. There were no road markings, curbs, or streetlights, and shallow grass depressions lined the road on either side.
There were two sets of tire marks on Eamon Road that entered the intersection at Gravel Pit Road. The tire marks indicated two vehicles were proceeding westbound on Eamon Road and failed to stop before they entered the ditch and grassy field.
One set of tire marks demonstrated that the vehicle caused a gouge mark in the soil of the ditch, then left tire marks in the grassy field as it turned around and returned to the roadway. The other set of tire marks were more prominent and showed that the vehicle entered the ditch, creating a gouge mark in the soil, then appeared to go airborne before it created another gouge mark. Following the second gouge mark, the tire marks arced north for approximately 40 metres before they entered a cornfield. The vehicle meandered through the cornfield for approximately 150 metres before entering a ditch.
The cornfield was approximately 2.1 metres tall and provided no visibility for the driver.
The three vehicles within the collision/arrest scene were:
The Complainant’s VehicleA Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck. The truck rested against the face of a deep ditch in the cornfield facing north and west of Gravel Pit Road. There was no apparent damage to the truck. The keys were in the ignition and the gear shift was in high range 4-wheel drive. There was an unopened 15-pack of Budweiser beer on the front passenger floor and numerous empty bottles of Blue Light beer in the back of the truck. The bottles were in cases but some of the cases had been upended and bottles broken.
SO #2’s Police VehicleA grey unmarked Dodge Charger. This police vehicle was equipped with emergency lighting behind the windshield and had small flashers on the side rear view mirrors. It also had a white light on a swivel next to the driver’s side mirror, which could be moved by the driver. The police vehicle was stopped on the west side of Gravel Pit Road facing north. The vehicle had minor damage on the front bumper and the undercarriage had grass attached to it.
SO #1’s Police VehicleA black and white Ford Explorer. The police vehicle was marked with decals and emergency lighting. It was parked in a field facing west, west of Gravel Pit Road, and directly in front of the Complainant’s truck. It was undamaged.
The scene around the Complainant’s truck was examined. There was a backboard on the ground in front of the truck. Next to the backboard was a T-shirt that had been cut up the back. An oxygen tank was off to the side. There was also an AED on the hood of the Complainant’s truck. A pair of shoes were located along the left side of the truck.
Overall daylight photographs were taken of the resting positions of the involved vehicles, the tire marks, and road conditions.
Physical Evidence The following physical evidence was collected during the investigation:
- A T-shirt from the arrest scene; and
- A pair of shorts and boxer underwear collected at the autopsy.
Post-mortem and Toxicology ReportsTo date, the SIU has not received the Post-mortem and Toxicology Reports.
Arrangements were made with the pathologist to have biological samples submitted for analysis. The results in respect of those submissions are not yet available to the SIU.
Global Positioning System (GPS) DataBetween July 26, 2022, and July 27, 2022, the SIU received GPS data from the involved OPP vehicles. The police vehicles were equipped with GPS receivers which recorded data pertaining to the location and rate of speed of each police vehicle. The following is a summary of the pertinent data.
OPP Unmarked Charger (Operated by SO #2)At 12:20:31 p.m., SO #2’s vehicle was stationary on the westbound Highway 401 off-ramp to Moulinette Road, ahead of SO #1’s police vehicle and about 188 metres prior to the stop line at Moulinette Road (about halfway between the commencement of the ramp and the intersection at Moulinette Road).
At 12:25:30 p.m., SO #2 was travelling 34 km/h towards Moulinette Road. At 12:25:40 p.m., SO #2 proceeded straight through the intersection and continued westbound on County Road 29, west of Moulinette Road.
Between 12:25:52 p.m. to 12:26:43 p.m., SO #2 continued westbound on County Road 29, travelling at speeds of 118 km/h, 113 km/h, 124 km/h, 137 km/h, 152 km/h, 174 km/h, 188 km/h, 183 km/h, and 168 km/h.
At 12:27:07 p.m., SO #2 proceeded northbound onto County Road 12 for about 450 metres towards Eamon Road at approximately 106 km/h.
Between 12:27:34 p.m. to 12:27:54 p.m., SO #2 proceeded westbound on Eamon Road at recorded speeds of 143 km/h, 167 km/h, 168 km/h, 163 km/h, and 134 km/h.
Between 12:28:07 p.m. to 12:28:24 p.m., SO #2 slowed to speeds of 90 km/h as he proceeded westbound Eamon Road. [This time was consistent with the radio transmission from the OPP Provincial Communications Centre (PCC) Sergeant to terminate the pursuit.]
At 12:28:29 p.m., SO #2 continued westbound on Eamon Road at approximately 118 km/h.
At 12:28:39 p.m., SO #2 continued westbound on Eamon Road, about 100 metres east of Gravel Pit Road.
At 12:28:48 p.m., SO #2’s police vehicle was off the road in a field, 20 metres west of the west edge of Gravel Pit Road. [This time was consistent with SO #2’s radio transmission that he had a “mishap in the ditch” at the intersection.]
At 12:28:53 p.m., SO #2 was in the same field, about 8 metres west of the west edge of the road, travelling at approximately 29 km/h.
At 12:28:56 p.m., SO #2 proceeded to drive to the Complainant’s address.
At 12:44:37 p.m., SO #2 arrived back at the scene and was stationary on Gravel Pit Road at the north edge of the cornfield, where his vehicle remained until the data ended at 1:29 p.m.
OPP Marked Explorer (Operated by SO #1)
At 12:25:43 p.m., SO #1 left the RIDE check and drove at a high rate of speed westbound on County Road 29, about five seconds behind SO #2. He turned northbound on County Road 12 in close proximity to SO #2, and then continued westbound on Eamon Road, where he travelled about 3 kilometres.
About 625 metres west of County Road 12, SO #1, driving in excess of 150 km/h, was about 50 metres behind SO #2, who was driving in excess of 160 km/h.
About 500 metres further west (or about halfway between County Road 12 and Gravel Pit Road), SO #1 slowed down. [This was consistent with the radio transmission from the PCC Sergeant to terminate the pursuit, pull over, and provide mileage.] SO #1 then continued westbound about 27 seconds behind SO #2.
At 12:29:06 p.m., SO #1 was in the general area of the scene where the Complainant was known to have lost control and entered the cornfield. He continued to drive at high speeds, on his way to the Complainant’s address. SO #1 then drove back to the area of the arrest scene at unremarkable speeds.
At 12:38:37 p.m., SO #1 arrived on scene about five minutes prior to SO #2 and any other police officer.
OPP Marked Taurus (Operated by SO #3)
At 12:26 p.m., SO #3 was proceeding northbound on Moulinette Road from Long Sault, south of Highway 401. He turned left onto County Road 29 and drove the same route as SO #2 and SO #1 towards Gravel Pit Road.
At 12:31 p.m., SO #3 was at Eamon Road and Gravel Pit Road, where he did not stop. He continued to drive towards the Complainant’s residence, taking the same route as SO #2.
At 12:44:25 p.m., SO #3 arrived back at the scene and remained stationary. He had arrived about six minutes after SO #1 and one minute after SO #2.
OPP Subdued Charger (Operated by WO #2)
WO #2 followed the same route as SO #3.
At 12:31 p.m., WO #2 arrived at the collision scene but did not stop. He proceeded to the Complainant’s residence and returned to the scene, arriving on scene at about the same time as SO #3 at 12:44 p.m.
Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) DataThe CDR data from the Complainant’s truck and the police vehicles operated by SO #2 and SO #1 were reviewed by the SIU Collision Reconstructionist. The following is a summary of the pertinent data.
Although the airbags did not deploy, the single motor vehicle collision involving the Complainant’s truck was of sufficient force to capture an event in the airbag module. The airbag event likely occurred when the Complainant lost control at the intersection of Eamon Road and Gravel Pit Road as the truck left the west side of the road, and entered and struck the ditch. The Complainant’s truck then continued through a cornfield and turned gradually to the right to stop in another ditch on the north edge of the cornfield.
About two-and-one-half seconds prior to the collision, the Complainant, who was wearing his seat belt, was travelling at 97 km/h. Per the SIU Collision Reconstructionist’s calculation, the Complainant’s truck was about 57 metres east of the intersection of Eamon Road and Gravel Pit Road at this time. The brake pedal was depressed and the truck’s speed slowed to 83 km/h, 73 km/h, and then 72 km/h as it went through the intersection. About one-half second prior to the collision, the Complainant was travelling at 59 km/h.
The Ford Explorer operated by SO #1 did not capture any CDR data.
The Dodge Charger operated by SO #2 did not capture any CDR data. The minor damage on SO #2’s police vehicle was such that the front bumper cover was displaced and tall grass was caught in the undercarriage. This was consistent with SO #2 losing control of his police vehicle when it left the road and entered a field at Eamon Road and Gravel Pit Road, which was not of sufficient force to either deploy the airbags or capture an airbag deployment event. The lack of an airbag deployment event was also consistent with SO #2’s police vehicle having not contacted the Complainant’s truck at Eamon Road and Gravel Pit Road.
SO #2’s police vehicle was subsequently taken out of service and towed to a dealership for repair.
OPP Reconstruction of Single Motor Vehicle CollisionThe OPP Collision Reconstructionist work product was obtained and reviewed by the SIU. The following is a summary of the data the work product contained in connection with the single motor vehicle collision.
The intersection of Eamon Road and Gravel Pit Road was controlled by a yield sign for southbound traffic on Gravel Pit Road. The tire marks from the Complainant’s truck were visible on the roadway. The curved tire marks from the Complainant’s truck were consistent with the truck having driven westbound on Eamon Road and attempted to turn right (northbound) onto Gravel Pit Road at a rate of speed well exceeding the maximum speed at which the 90-degree bend could be made on dry roads.
The tire marks on the road appeared to have the characteristics of a yaw mark, indicative of a rotating sideslipping tire, rather than a locked and sliding tire. The Complainant’s truck crossed over Gravel Pit Road and entered the ditch on the west side. The ground in the ditch was gouged at a location in line with the tire marks in the intersection.
A review of the scene photographs clearly depicted the path of the Complainant’s truck after it left the roadway. The Complainant’s truck turned slightly to a westbound driver’s right in the intersection before it went through the cornfield and continued in a gradual curve to the right before emerging on the north side of the cornfield. The Complainant’s truck entered another ditch and stopped. While the truck sustained little to no damage and the airbags did not deploy in the collision, the Complainant’s seat belt appeared to have been worn, which was consistent with a motor vehicle collision.
The second set of tire marks in the intersection belonged to SO #2’s police vehicle. He proceeded straight across the intersection from westbound Eamon Road and entered in a westbound direction. The tire marks in the intersection were consistent with SO #2 braking heavily before his police vehicle entered the cornfield a few metres south of where the Complainant entered the ditch. SO #2 then turned completely around to the left and drove eastbound out of the field and back onto the roadway. This was consistent with the GPS data analysis.
There was nothing in the collision investigation to indicate the Complainant’s collision was anything other than a single motor vehicle collision. It would appear the Complainant lost control of his truck, and entered and struck the ditch due to excessive speed.
Though both vehicles were westbound on Eamon Road at Gravel Pit Road, both the Complainant and SO #2 lost control and entered the west ditch. There was no information in the documentation to assist with a determination of the proximity of SO #2’s police vehicle to the Complainant’s truck at the moment each vehicle went off the road.
In conclusion, the tire marks and other physical evidence at the scene gave rise to no suspicion that a collision between the Complainant and SO #2’s police vehicle occurred in the intersection, or immediately before the intersection.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
OPP Communications RecordingsRadio Transmissions
On July 25, 2022, the SIU received the relevant communications recordings from the OPP. The radio transmissions played back-to-back, with the first transmission at 12:25:49 p.m. until the last transmission at 7:54:45 p.m. The following times are approximations from a combination of the running time on the recordings and the times denoted on the event details report. A summary of the pertinent communications follows.
At 12:25:49 p.m., SO #2 and SO #1 were located on the Highway 401 westbound off-ramp at Moulinette Road. Forty seconds later, they were proceeding westbound onto County Road 29.
About one minute and thirteen seconds into the recording, a male voice [now known to be SO #1] called out a licence plate consistent with the licence plate on the Complainant’s truck. SO #2 said, “Which way?” SO #1 said, “Straight through the lights.”
The dispatcher asked if the officers were in a pursuit. In response, SO #1 said the Complainant, “Blew a fail. I went to open the door to get him out. He took off. My hand was caught in the door. I had to step on the running board to try and get my hand out. He swerved towards the ditch and threw me into the ditch.” He continued, “That’s the vehicle there, turning onto Eamon Road. Westbound on Eamon Road.”
Between 12:26:14 p.m. and 12:27:42 p.m., the dispatcher entered the information provided by SO #1 into the event details report.
At 12:27:58 p.m., the dispatcher recorded that the PCC Sergeant advised of ‘fail to stop’.
At one minute and 15 seconds in the recording, the PCC Sergeant identified himself on the police radio and asked for the reason for the ‘fail to stop’. SO #1 repeated what transpired on the off-ramp and indicated the Complainant’s last know direction was westbound on Eamon Road.
At one minute and 40 seconds in the recording, the PCC Sergeant requested all units to “terminate the fail to stop, deactivate lights and sirens, pull to the shoulder when safe to do so and provide mileage”. The dispatcher did not enter the Sergeant’s instruction in the event details.
At one minute and 54 seconds in the recording, a male voice [believed to be SO #1] said, “Sarge, I’m pulled over. [mileage provided].” At one minute and 58 seconds in the recording, another male voice [believed to be SO #2] provided mileage, followed immediately by, “Permission to proceed at normal speeds? I can see him up ahead. He’s driving at normal speed now.” SO #2 did not indicate that he was pulled over or had pulled over. The dispatcher documented SO #2’s and SO #1’s mileage in the event details at 12:28:21 p.m.
During the 23 seconds which elapsed from when the dispatcher had notified the PCC Sergeant until he entered the reported mileage, SO #2 was westbound on Eamon Road and slowing from 134 km/h to speeds of 98 km/h and 89 km/h. SO #1 had slowed from 145 km/h to 79 km/h on Eamon Road, about 1.3 kilometres east of Gravel Pit Road.
About 20 seconds after he said he saw the Complainant driving at normal speeds ahead of him and after receiving permission from the PCC Sergeant to drive at normal speeds, SO #2 entered the intersection of Eamon Road and Gravel Pit Road at about 120 km/h, lost control of his police vehicle and went into a field off the roadway.
At two minutes and 10 seconds in the recording, the PCC Sergeant requested that a unit attend the Complainant’s residence as he had, “blew a fail on the ASD,” and advised units to, “Proceed in the last known direction. Just don’t push.” He suggested a police officer deploy a spike belt if there was an opportunity.
At 12:30:26 p.m., the dispatcher entered the comment, “Officers proceeding at normal speed.”
At two minutes and 35 seconds in the recording, the PCC Sergeant was advised that SO #2 was operating an unmarked Charger and asked if he was, “Good to keep this guy in sight.” The PCC Sergeant approved.
At three minutes and 13 seconds in the recording, SO #2 radioed that the Complainant did not know he was behind him and the direction he was headed. At three minutes and 29 seconds in the recording, SO #2 radioed that the Complainant was not in his sight because he, “Had a little mishap there in the ditch.” There was no mention of the Complainant being involved in a collision at Eamon Road and Gravel Pit Road, nor was there information about having a visual on the Complainant’s truck. Police officers from the Morrisburg Detachment advised they were en route to the area to assist.
At 12:31:34 p.m., the dispatcher entered an address into the CAD details as the address of the driver.
At four minutes and 30 seconds, the PCC Sergeant confirmed his instructions not to activate emergency lights and sirens given the circumstances, and noted that the identity of the driver was known when an Morrisburg officer challenged his instructions.
The SO #2 advised he was at the Complainant’s residence but the Complainant was not there.
At eight minutes and 18 seconds in the recording, SO #1 requested that officers attend at Eamon Road and Gravel Pit Road, believing the Complainant’s truck had gone off the roadway and into the cornfield. The GPS data indicated SO #1 returned to this location at 12:38 p.m.
At 11 minutes and 14 seconds in the recording, SO #1 advised he had located the Complainant’s truck in a ditch. The dispatcher recorded the time as 12:44:41 p.m.
At 11 minutes and 34 seconds in the recording, the Complainant was in custody. The dispatcher recorded the time as 12:45 p.m.
At 12 minutes in the recording, an ambulance was requested for the Complainant who was unresponsive but breathing.
At 13 minutes and 13 seconds in the recording, officers commenced CPR. The dispatcher recorded the time as 1:00 p.m.
At 13 minutes and 18 seconds in the recording, EMS and the fire department arrived on scene. The dispatcher recorded the time as 1:05 p.m.
At 15 minutes and 29 seconds in the recording, body removal was requested.
Telephone (PCC Telephone Lines)
The telephone transmissions, which were not individually time-stamped and played back-to-back, were 16 minutes and 20 seconds in duration. The first transmission began at 12:37:18 p.m. and the last transmission ended at 6:29:52 p.m. The following is a summary of the calls.
The dispatcher called the ambulance communications centre and requested that paramedics attend Gravel Pit Road and Eamon Road for a vehicle involved in a pursuit and subsequently driven off the roadway. He further advised that police had not witnessed the vehicle drive off the roadway. The dispatcher then called a funeral home for body removal.
The PCC Sergeant’s Telephone Line
These recordings, which were not individually time-stamped and played back-to-back, were 37 minutes and 11 seconds in duration. The first transmission began at 1:45:33 p.m. and the last transmission ended at 7:06:27 p.m. The following is a summary of the calls.
WO #1 called the PCC telephone line and spoke with the Sergeant about the “pursuit type thing”. WO #1 advised the Sergeant that the Complainant was deceased and that he believed his death may have been the result of a medical episode.
WO #1 and the PCC Sergeant determined the suspect apprehension pursuit had been terminated at about the moment when SO #2 and SO #1 proceeded westbound on Eamon Road from northbound County Road 12. WO #1 further stated, “This never would have been a pursuit because we knew who he was.” The PCC Sergeant endeavoured to notify the Provincial Operations Centre (POC). WO #1 requested the assistance of Traffic Services.
Various notifications were made, including a notification to the SIU Liaison Officer. There was some discussion about whether the police interaction constituted a ‘suspect apprehension pursuit’.
At 17 minutes and 30 seconds in the recording, the Sergeant told the POC sergeant that he had terminated the ‘SAP’ (suspect apprehension pursuit) for public safety. In another conversation, a POC sergeant (unclear which one) said that if the officers continued to pursue the Complainant in the circumstances, it would be a violation of OPP policy.
It was learned that SO #1 had sustained a back injury and sought medical treatment.
Video Footage from Residence #1 on County Road 29On July 28, 2022, the SIU received two video files from a residence on County Road 29. The footage was date and time -tamped, in colour, and did not contain audio. The following is a summary of the recordings.
On July 22, 2022, at 12:25:36 p.m., the video began. The camera captured traffic on County Road 29. At 12:25:56 p.m., a pick-up truck [now known to be operated by the Complainant] proceeded westbound on County Road 29. At 12:26:23 p.m., an unmarked Dodge Charger [now known to be operated by SO #2] proceeded westbound on County Road 29. It was difficult to determine whether emergency lights were activated.
At 12:26:27 p.m., a marked Ford Explorer [now known to be operated by SO #1] proceeded westbound on County Road 29. Emergency lights were not activated.
At 12:34:45 p.m., the video ended.
Video Footage from Residence #2 on County Road 29On August 8, 2022, the SIU was provided with video footage from Residence #2 on County Road 29. The camera was date and time-stamped, in colour, and did not contain audio. The following is a summary of the recording.
On July 22, 2022, at 12:20:00 p.m., the video began and captured traffic on County Road 29. At 12:25:35 p.m., a pick-up truck [now known to be operated by the Complainant] proceeded westbound on County Road 29. At 12:26:07 p.m., an unmarked Dodge Charger [now known to be operated by SO #2] proceeded westbound on County Road 29. It was difficult to determine if any emergency lights were activated. At 12:26:08 p.m., a black and white Ford Explorer [now known to be operated by SO #1] proceeded westbound on County Road 29 without emergency lights activated.
At 12:30:04 p.m., the video ended.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the OPP:
- Data from Airbag Control Module (ACM) of Ford Explorer;
- Data from ACM of Chevrolet Silverado;
- Data from ACM of Dodge Charger;
- Chevrolet Silverado Recall Notice;
- Communications recordings;
- Canadian Police Information Centre Response Report;
- Fieldnotes-Officer #1;
- Fieldnotes-Officer #2;
- Ministry of Transportation - Conviction Record;
- Ministry of Transportation - Suspension Record;
- GPS data;
- Notes-WO #1;
- Notes-Officer #1;
- Notes-Officer #3;
- Notes-Officer #4;
- Notes-WO #2;
- Notes-Officer #2;
- Fail to Stop-Report;
- General Report;
- Motor Vehicle Collision Report;
- Photo Brief;
- Scale Check Report;
- Total Station Notes;
- Training Records-SO #1, SO #3 and SO #2;
- Vehicle Information;
- Fingerprints of the Complainant;
- D Platoon Schedule;
- Subject Profile Report; and
- Vehicle Exam Notes-Officer #2.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
- Ambulance Call Reports and Incident Reports-Cornwall Paramedic Service;
- Video footage from Residence #1 on County Road 29; and
- Video footage from Residence #2 on County Road 29.
Shortly before 12:30 p.m. of July 22, 2022, the Complainant, operating a Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck, came to a stop for a RIDE program on the westbound off-ramp of Highway 401 at Moulinette Road. The Complainant had been drinking and registered a ‘fail’ when administered a breath test. Advised he was under arrest, the Complainant, still in his vehicle, fled from the scene. The officer who had been dealing with him, SO #1, his hand stuck in the pick-up’s door handle, was dragged a short distance with the vehicle before he tumbled free.
SO #2 was with SO #1 at the RIDE program. He took up chase of the pick-up in his unmarked Dodge Charger. SO #1 rushed to his cruiser – a marked SUV – and followed suit. The police communications centre was advised of what had occurred and that the officers were pursuing the pick-up truck. The truck’s licence plate was also ascertained by the officers and transmitted to the communications centre.
The pursuit continued westward from the off-ramp and straight across Moulinette Road onto County Road 29 at speeds ranging from about 120 to 190 km/h. The cruisers were never very close to the pick-up truck throughout this stretch. Video footage from homes along the roadway, for example, indicates that SO #2 and SO #1 were at least a half-minute behind the Complainant in the early stages of the pursuit on County Road 29.
As the vehicles turned to travel north on County Road 12 and then west on Eamon Road, a sergeant monitoring the pursuit ordered that it be discontinued. Both cruisers reduced their speeds but did not come to a full stop; in particular, SO #2 seems to have decelerated to speeds of about 90 km/h but not slower. SO #2 came on the radio to ask if he could continue to follow the pick-up truck, and was granted permission to do so. The officers were still hundreds of metres behind the Complainant at this time.
The Complainant continued at speed westward on Eamon Road, failed to negotiate a right-hand turn at its T-intersection with Gravel Pit Road, and entered into a field. The time was about 12:28 p.m. The pick-up truck arced right and travelled north through a cornfield upwards of a hundred metres before crashing into a ditch at the north end of the field. Unable to extricate himself from the ditch, the Complainant remained seated in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, his seatbelt on. His vehicle remained upright and had sustained very little damage.
Neither SO #2 nor SO #1 had observed the Complainant’s truck enter the cornfield. As SO #2 arrived at the T-intersection, he too failed to negotiate the turn onto Gravel Pit Road and entered into the field west of the road. He was able to turn his vehicle around and then proceeded south on Gravel Pit Road intending to travel to the Complainant’s address. SO #1, instead, turned right on Gravel Pit Road.
SO #2 arrived at the Complainant’s address at about 12:33 p.m. He was joined at the address by SO #3 and WO #2, each arriving in separate marked cruisers to assist in locating the Complainant. At about 12:39 p.m., after receiving word over the radio that SO #1 had located the Complainant’s truck in a ditch, the three officers travelled together in their vehicles to the scene.
SO #2, SO #3 and WO #2 arrived at the collision site at about 12:44 p.m. SO #1 was by the driver’s door of the pick-up at the time yelling at the Complainant to get down on the ground. The Complainant did not do so, and then resisted as SO #2, SO #3 and SO #1 removed him from the driver’s seat. The Complainant was unsteady on his feet and subsequently fell to the ground. He continued to resist on the ground but was handcuffed behind his back following a short struggle.
Within moments of his arrest, the Complainant began to struggle with his breathing. He was uncuffed and placed in the recovery position by the officers. Shortly thereafter, the Complainant became unresponsive and the officers began to administer CPR. An AED was deployed by the officers, which directed that no shock be administered. CPR was continued until the arrival of paramedics at the scene at about 1:05 p.m.
Despite the resuscitative efforts of the first responders, the Complainant was declared deceased at the scene at 1:19 p.m.
Cause of DeathThe pathologist at autopsy observed that the Complainant had not suffered any traumatic injuries. With respect to bruising to various parts of his body, the pathologist was of the view that the injuries did not contribute to the Complainant’s death. The cause of death remains pending at this time.
Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of Persons Acting Under Authority
(a) as a private person,(b) as a peace officer or public officer,(c) in aid of a peace officer or public officer, or(d) by virtue of his office,
Analysis and Director's Decision
Pursuant to section 25(1) of the Criminal Code, police officers are immune from criminal liability for force used in the course of their duties provided such force was reasonably necessary in the execution of an act that they were required or authorized to do by law.
The officers who convened at the site of the collision were within their rights in seeking to arrest the Complainant. Given his flight from police following a failed breathalyzer test, he was subject to arrest for drinking and driving.
With respect to the force used by the officers in extricating the Complainant from his vehicle and securing him in handcuffs, I am satisfied that this was legally justified. The evidence indicates that some force was used in removing the Complainant from the pick-up truck, but this was made necessary when he did not exit of his own volition and then held onto the steering wheel refusing to let go. A level of force was again necessary when the Complainant resisted the officers’ efforts on the ground. In neither case does it appear that strikes of any kind were used; the officers simply used their superior manpower to wrestle control of the Complainant.
Nor is there evidence to reasonably conclude that the officers were remiss in the care they provided the Complainant once he started to lapse into medical distress. They quickly realized the Complainant needed medical assistance, called for an ambulance, and administered life-saving measures while they waited for paramedics to arrive.
The only other issue that arises is the conduct of SO #2 and SO #1 in the course of their pursuit of the Complainant. Of particular concern is the speeds at which the officers travelled, and the failure to completely disengage once ordered to discontinue the pursuit by a monitoring sergeant. Travelling as fast as they were at points in the pursuit – SO #2 topped out at 188 km/h – it is hard to argue that the vehicles did not constitute a danger on the roadway. On the other hand, it bears noting that these were sparsely populated rural roads, and the weather was sunny and clear. That is to say, there was nothing in the environmental conditions that prevailed at the time that added to the risk inherent in the speeds at which the officers travelled. It is also important to note that both officers were a fair distance behind the pick-up truck throughout their active engagement and cannot be said to have recklessly pushed the Complainant. He was at all times able to alter his driving had he been so inclined. Nor am I persuaded that the officers acted unreasonably in commencing the pursuit. They had grounds to believe that the Complainant had committed a criminal offence with respect to his failed breathalyzer test and his dangerous flight from the RIDE program. When these considerations are weighed in the balance, there is insufficient evidence that the officers’ conduct amounted to a marked departure from a reasonable standard of care in the circumstances – negating the potential for criminal liability.
For the foregoing reasons, though it remains unclear how or why the Complainant died, I am satisfied that his death is not attributable to criminal conduct on the part of the officers. As such, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges. The file is closed.
Date: November 18, 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]
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.