SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-PVI-276
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 injuries of a 30-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIU On July 19, 2023, at 11:31 a.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the SIU with the following information.
On the morning of the July 19, 2023, various units within the OPP, including tactical, incident response and surveillance, were executing numerous Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) warrants in the Innisfil area. At some point, just prior to 11:15 a.m., police officers observed an undercover drug transaction involving the Complainant. Once the transaction was complete, the Complainant entered his vehicle and went mobile despite initial attempts by officers to stop him. The Complainant fled the area and a distance away entered into and out of a ditch, colliding with a hydro pole. The Complainant was reported to have exited the vehicle on foot when he was struck by an unmarked OPP surveillance vehicle in the area of Innisfil Heights Crescent and Commerce Park Drive, Innisfil. The Complainant was originally transported to Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie where he was reported to have multiple fractures and his condition was said to be life-threatening. The incident was reported to have been captured by OPP aircraft in the area.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 2023/07/19 12:06 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 2023/07/19 2:30 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”):30-year-old male; interviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on August 18, 2023.
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed July 19, 2023, and July 21, 2023.
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
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Interviewed
WO #6 Interviewed
WO #7 Interviewed
WO #8 Interviewed
WO #9 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on July 23, 2023, and July 24, 2023.
The Scene The events in question transpired in and around the area of the intersection of Commerce Gate and Innisfil Heights Crescent, Innisfil.
Commerce Gate was a two-lane road that travelled south from Innisfil Beach Road. Innisfil Heights Crescent met Commerce Gate at a T-intersection in the middle of a sharp curve.
There were five unmarked OPP vehicles within the scene and one civilian vehicle that the Complainant had been driving.
In the northbound lane of Commerce Gate at Innisfil Heights Crescent were two large blood stains that were surrounded with medical equipment, first-aid supplies, and clothing. The clothing appeared cut and was bundled together.
Directly south of the debris was a blue Mitsubishi [operated by the Complainant]. It was resting near a hydro pole and had heavy front-end damage. It appeared to have been travelling east on Commerce Gate when it left the roadway and travelled through heavy grass and uneven ground before it met the hydro pole. The driver’s airbag had deployed.
Figure 1 - The Complainant's Mitsubishi, in a ditch by a hydro pole, with heavy front-end damage
All five of the OPP vehicles were unmarked and appeared to be surveillance type vehicles.
A grey Ford F150 pick-up truck [now known to have been operated by the SO] was stopped facing the east curb of Commerce Gate just north of the intersection with Innisfil Heights Crescent. It had minor damage to a front corner. The damage consisted mostly of scuff marks.
Figure 2 – Scuff marks on the front corner of the SO's Ford F150
A grey Kia Sorento SUV [now known to have been operated by WO #7] was stopped on the shoulder of Innisfil Heights Crescent in front of the Ford F150 pick-up truck. It had significant damage to the right side, which appeared to be direct contact damage as well as sideswipe damage.
Figure 3 - Damage to the side of WO #7's Kia Sorento
The third damaged OPP vehicle was a black Honda Passport SUV [now known to have been operated by WO #2]. The vehicle was stopped across both lanes of Innisfil Heights Crescent. It had minor scuff damage to the right rear corner. Most of the scuff marks appeared to be superficial and brushed away when touched.
Figure 4 - Scuff marks to the rear of WO #2's Honda Passport
Collision Reconstructionist ReportFord F150 Speed
An analysis was completed to determine the approach and impact speed of the police Ford F150. A simulation was created to verify the Ford’s speeds. The reconstructionist found that the Ford was traveling about 30 km/h as it approached the point of impact and struck the Complainant. It was also noted that the driver of the Ford steered to the right just before impact with the Complainant.
The reconstructionist analyzed the visibility of the Complainant and the Ford F150 driver as they approached the point of impact to determine the amount of time the driver in the Ford F150 could see the running pedestrian. The reconstructionist assumed a constant speed of 30 km/h for the Ford F150 and 12 km/h for the Complainant.
About two seconds before impact, the pedestrian moved behind the police Kia Sorento from the perspective of the Ford F150 driver. Prior to that, the Complainant was on the grass and the Ford was far enough behind the Kia that there was a clear line of sight between the two.
About one second before impact, the Complainant emerged from behind the Kia and started to become visible again to the SO. The Ford’s steering wheel began to turn to the right about 0.5 seconds before impact. It is unknown if the steering action was as a result of the Complainant emerging from behind the Kia, or if the steering response was decided upon before the driver could see where the Complainant was intending to run.
Figure 5 - Selection of images showing the position of the Ford F150 and the Complainant in the two seconds before impact
In summary, the Mitsubishi exited the road to the right and entered a grass ditch to avoid numerous police vehicles. The front-end of the Mitsubishi ended up colliding with a wooden hydro pole, where it came to rest. The driver of the Mitsubishi exited the vehicle and ran northbound at about 12 km/h. The Complainant ran between two stopped or nearly stopped police vehicles located in the eastbound lane. As the Complainant emerged from behind the police Kia, an eastbound police Ford F150 that was traveling about 30 km/h collided with a running Complainant. The Ford came to rest against the east curb while the pedestrian came to rest at the point of impact.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Communications RecordingsOn July 19, 2023, at 10:39 a.m., a male requested an ambulance as soon as possible to Commerce Park Drive and Innisfil Beach Road over the police radio. He advised that there was a suspect down.
Starting at about 10:40 a.m., a CAD [computer-assisted dispatch] entry indicated that EMS was attending. A request was made over the police radio for a unit to attend the hospital.
Between 10:40 a.m. and 12:36 p.m., WO #5 advised a sergeant from the London Communications Centre what happened during a telephone conversation. WO #5 advised that Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU) and Physical Surveillance Unit (PSU) members were seeking to arrest the Complainant as part of larger project, and the Complainant was involved in a motor vehicle collision. He further advised that the Complainant had fled on foot and was struck by a police vehicle resulting in serious injuries. WO #5 advised the sergeant that a police officer - the SO - was being transported to hospital for chest pains.
OPP Helicopter Video Footage The helicopter video commenced at approximately 10:00 a.m. and captured an effort made by members of the PSU and TRU to box-in a Mitsubishi SUV, operated by the Complainant, at the intersection of Mapleview Drive and Bayview Drive. The efforts were unsuccessful as the Complainant fled the area in his Mitsubishi.
A second unsuccessful attempt was made near the Complainant’s residence.
The Complainant was subsequently captured driving without the involvement of the surveillance police vehicles until he travelled down the dead-end road at Commerce Park Drive, Innisfil, approximately 30 minutes later. The Complainant continued down Commerce Park Drive before being forced to turn around because of the dead-end.
Starting at about 10:36:47 a.m., the Mitsubishi, operated by the Complainant, travelled eastbound on Commerce Park Drive / Commerce Gate behind one of the unmarked police vehicles. The Mitsubishi continued to follow the police vehicle, which slowed in front of the Mitsubishi. The Complainant veered to the right into the grass ditch to the south of the road.
Starting at about 10:37:03 a.m., the Mitsubishi veered to the left to exit the ditch and re-enter the road. The Mitsubishi was then ahead of the police vehicle it was originally following. The Mitsubishi collided with another unmarked police vehicle in the eastbound lane. The front left corner of the Mitsubishi collided with the right side of the unmarked police vehicle, a Kia Sorento.
After the collision, the Mitsubishi continued eastbound, accelerating through the intersection with Forest Valley Drive. The Mitsubishi headed towards the left curve in the road. A grey Ford F150 unmarked police vehicle headed westbound and began to cross into the eastbound lanes to cut the Mitsubishi off. The Mitsubishi steered to the right to again enter the south grass ditch to avoid the intercepting Ford F150. No contact occurred between the vehicles, and the Mitsubishi entered the grass ditch area. The Mitsubishi continued in the grass ditch and collided with a wooden hydro pole.
Starting at about 10:37:21 a.m., the Complainant exited the Mitsubishi through the driver door and ran northbound through the grass. The Complainant reached the south edge of the road and continued northbound. Two police vehicles were stopped at the curve of the road as the Complainant ran between them. The Ford F150 continued eastbound, approaching the Complainant as he was running.
At 10:37:26 a, the Complainant and the right side of the Ford F150 collided.
Video Footage - Shell Gas StationThe video was 58 minutes and 46 seconds in length and not date or time-stamped. The camera view faced southeast and captured the three-way intersection of Innisfil Heights Crescent and Commerce Gate. The centre of the intersection was obstructed by an electrical vehicle charging station.
Starting at about 16 minutes and 36 seconds into the video, a black SUV drove east and struck a telephone pole. The SUV could be seen in the grass on the south side of the road, with the front of the vehicle up against a hydro pole. A large dark-coloured SUV drove east on Commerce Gate, past the black SUV, and stopped on Innisfil Heights Crescent. An individual [the Complainant) exited the driver side door of the black SUV and ran north towards the road. The Complainant ran between two dark coloured SUVs. As the Complainant ran around the front of one of the SUVs, a grey four-door pick-up truck travelled eastbound on Commerce Gate. After the Complainant cleared the SUVs, he stopped briefly in the middle of the road and was in front of the grey pick-up truck as it continued towards him. The Complainant went out of the camera view to the passenger side of the truck as it continued eastbound. He was no longer visible once the truck passed due to the obstruction in the camera view. The grey truck came to a stop slightly east of the second dark-coloured SUV, but only a small portion of the top of the truck was in view.
Starting at about 16 minutes and 55 seconds into the video, two additional vehicles travelled east on Commerce Gate and stopped in the middle of the road east of the intersection. Individuals exited the vehicles and ran towards the obstructed portion of the road.
Starting at about 24 minutes and five seconds into the video, an ambulance arrived.
Starting at about 37 minutes and 10 seconds, the ambulance left.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained the following records from the OPP on July 21, 2023:
- OPP aerial footage;
- OPP communications recordings;
- Record of CAD;
- Notes-WO #5;
- Notes-WO #2;
- Notes-WO #7;
- Notes-WO #4;
- Notes-WO #1;
- Notes-WO #6;
- Notes-WO #3;
- Notes-WO #9;
- Scene Diagram by WO #8;
- Scene Diagram by WO #7;
- Scene Diagram by WO #4;
- Scene Diagram by WO #3;
- Scene Diagram by WO #9;
- Scene Diagram by WO #5; and
- Scene Diagram by WO #6.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained the following records from the following other sources on July 21, 2023:
- Video footage from Shell Canada.
In the morning of July 19, 2023, OPP PSU and TRU officers participated in an operation seeking to arrest the Complainant on charges of drug trafficking. They surveilled his residence, watched as he entered a Mitsubishi Outlander, and followed him in unmarked vehicles. On Mapleview Drive, east of Bayview Drive, the signal was given to surround the Mitsubishi and take the Complainant into custody.
The Complainant realized what was happening and managed to maneuver the Mitsubishi to circumvent the blockade of police vehicles that had formed around him. He fled at speed north on Bayview Drive and eventually eastward on Mapleview Drive towards his residence.
As the Mitsubishi broke through the blockade, officers involved in the attempted takedown were ordered not to engage in a pursuit. A police helicopter was in the air and tracking the Mitsubishi’s directions of travel. When it appeared the Complainant might be returning home, officers travelled to the address to intercept him.
Again, the Complainant became aware of the police presence. He executed a U-turn on Mapleview Drive, travelled west to Yonge Street, and then south to Innisfil Beach Road. Still tracked by the helicopter, the Complainant continued west on Innisfil Beach Road, turning left on Commerce Gate which soon became Commerce Park Drive. Having reached the far south end of Commerce Park Drive – a dead-end – the Complainant turned and travelled northwards. As he followed the path of the road onto eastbound Commerce Gate, unmarked police vehicles once again attempted a takedown.
WO #7 was among the officers engaged with the Complainant on Commerce Gate. He positioned his vehicle in front of the Mitsubishi as it travelled east and watched as the Complainant passed him on the passenger side, colliding with the officer’s vehicle as it did so. WO #3, travelling west on Commerce Gate, angled his pick-up truck on the eastbound lane in front of the Mitsubishi. The Complainant veered into the ditch to avoid the vehicle and continued a short distance before striking a wooden hydro pole head-on.
Following the collision, the Complainant exited the Mitsubishi and ran northwards towards Commerce Gate. He continued onto the roadway between two east-facing police vehicles and was struck as he cleared those vehicles by an eastbound pick-up truck.
The truck was being operated by the SO. The front passenger side of his pick-up struck the Complainant, who collapsed on the roadway.
Officers called for paramedics, who quickly arrived on scene and administered care.
The Complainant suffered serious injuries, including, reportedly, a brain injury and deafness in his left ear.
Section 320.13, Criminal Code – Dangerous Operation Causing Bodily Harm
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offence that arises for consideration is dangerous driving causing bodily harm contrary to section 320.13(2) of the Criminal Code. 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 and the rest of the PSU and TRU officers involved in the events in question were lawfully placed and engaged in the exercise of their duties as they attempted to apprehend the Complainant. There was a warrant in effect for the Complainant in connection with drug trafficking offences and he was clearly subject to arrest.
I am also satisfied that the evidence falls short of any reasonable conclusion that the SO transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law throughout his engagement with the Complainant. With respect to the broader context surrounding the collision, it is clear that the police were attempting another takedown of the Mitsubishi. That decision would not appear to have been without merit. The Complainant had embarked on a course of reckless driving that had endangered third-party traffic around him, and here was an opportunity to attempt to put his flight at an end on a lesser-trafficked roadway. The tactic seems also to have been executed with prudence. None of the police vehicles deliberately struck the Mitsubishi; rather, they were positioned around the Complainant in a fashion to bring him to a controlled stop. Lastly, the Complainant’s impact with the SO’s pick-up truck might well be characterized as more the product of his frenzied attempt to get away, even after he had crashed his vehicle, than it was any dangerous driving or excessive speed by the officer. In fact, on the weight of the evidence gathered by the SIU, the Complainant would have only been briefly visible to the SO before the point of impact; in other words, it is not at all clear that the collision was avoidable.
In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO failed to comport himself with due care and regard for public safety, including the Complainant’s safety, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: November 16, 2023
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The information in this section reflects the information received by the SIU at the time of notification and does not necessarily reflect the SIU’s finding of facts following its investigation. [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.