SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-TVI-419
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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 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 40-year-old woman (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIU On October 14, 2023, at 2:38 p.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) contacted the SIU with the following information.
On October 14, 2023, at approximately 10:30 a.m., officers were requesting assistance at a high priority call in progress. A responding officer was reported to have been travelling southbound on Markham Road in Toronto approaching a red light at the intersection of Eglinton Avenue East. The officer had his vehicle emergency lighting system activated and stopped at the intersection prior to proceeding. As the officer entered the intersection, he collided with a civilian vehicle travelling eastbound on Eglinton Avenue East. As a result of the collision, the lone female driver of the civilian vehicle was transported by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SHSC) at 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, where she was diagnosed with a fractured wrist. The officer was thought to have possibly sustained a fractured thumb. The scene was being secured for examination and collision reconstruction. The incident was captured on the officer’s in-car camera system (ICCS) and on an external intersection video source.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 2023/10/14 at 3:05 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 2023/10/14 at 5:13 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”):40-year-old female; not interviewed (declined); medical records obtained and reviewed
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between October 16 and 17, 2023.
Subject Official (SO)SO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #2 Interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #3 Interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #4 Not interviewed; notes reviewed and interview deemed not necessary
The witness officials were interviewed on October 14, 2023.
The Scene The events in question transpired in and around the intersection of Markham Road and Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto.
Physical Evidence Eglinton Avenue East was a main east-west thoroughfare in a commercial district with plazas and malls on both sides of the street. It was a posted 50 km/h zone. The road was straight and level, and the road markings were visible. There were sidewalks and streetlighting on both sides of the street. There were two lanes in each direction, with another dedicated bus lane along each curb. At the intersection of Markham Road, the road widened and allowed for an additional lane for left turns. The bus lane allowed for cars to use the lane as a right turn lane. There was a raised median between the east and west lanes at the intersection.
Markham Road was a main north-south thoroughfare. The area along Markham Road was a mixture of high-rise apartments and commercial buildings. It was a posted 50 km/h zone. The road was straight and level, and the road markings were visible. There were sidewalks and street lighting on both sides of the street. There were two lanes in each direction and the road widened for two additional turn lanes, one left and one right, as a vehicle approached the intersection. There was a raised median between the north and south lanes at the intersection.
The intersection of Eglinton Avenue East and Markham Road was controlled with traffic signals. There were wide crosswalks at each corner controlled by the traffic signals.
Figure 1 – The scene of the collision
There were two damaged vehicles within the intersection of Markham Road and Eglinton Avenue East:
- A TPS marked, grey and white Ford Explorer. It had a full emergency lighting package and was identified as the SO’s vehicle. It had heavy front-end damage. Both side curtain airbags, the steering wheel airbag, and the driver’s knee airbag had deployed. The vehicle came to rest within the intersection facing southeast.
- A white Hyundai Tucson SUV. It was damaged along the driver’s side front and rear door. The driver’s door had been removed, likely to assist in removing the driver from the vehicle. The driver’s side curtain airbag had deployed. The vehicle came to rest facing west.
- No tire marks were noted at the scene.
Figure 2 – The SO’s cruiser
Figure 3 – The Complainant’s vehicle
Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) Data – The SO’s Cruiser
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
ICCS – The SO’s CruiserStarting at about 10:18:16 a.m., the police cruiser travelled through city streets at varying speeds with siren activated, eventually travelling south on Markham Road with emergency equipment still activated.
Starting at about 10:22:25 a.m., the police cruiser appeared to stop at a red light at Eglinton Avenue East in the right through-lane.
Starting at about 10:22:27 a.m., the police vehicle proceeded south into the intersection. There was a blue SUV stopped in the intersection facing east in the left turn lane.
Starting at about 10:22:30, the police vehicle collided with a white SUV travelling eastbound on Eglinton Avenue East.
Starting at about 10:22:59 a.m., the SO, the operator of the cruiser, advised the dispatcher that he was in a collision at Markham Road and Eglinton Avenue.
Video Footage - TPS Traffic Camera - Markham Road and Eglinton Avenue – West FacingAt 10:22:22 a.m., the footage began without any accompanying audio. The northbound and westbound traffic lights were visible.
Starting at about 10:22:26 a.m., a marked TPS SUV cruiser was captured travelling south on Markham Road with emergency lights activated in the right through-lane. It appeared to almost come to a full stop at a red light at Eglinton Avenue East.
At 10:22:27 a.m., the police cruiser moved forward into the intersection. There was a blue SUV stopped in the eastbound left turn lane of Eglinton Avenue East.
Starting at about 10:22:29 a.m., the police cruiser travelled south and crossed the westbound lanes of Eglinton Avenue East. A white SUV travelling eastbound on Eglinton Avenue East in the right through-lane approached Markham Road and entered the intersection. The light was a solid green for westbound traffic.
Starting at about 10:22:31 a.m., the police cruiser collided with the driver’s side of the white SUV. The white SUV spun sideways and stopped facing west in the eastbound lanes. The police cruiser stopped facing southeast in the eastbound lanes of Eglinton Avenue.
Body-worn Camera (BWC) Footage – The SO At 10:23:40 a.m., the video began without audio after the collision had occurred. The SO was in the intersection and began to walk towards the Complainant’s Hyundai.
At 10:24:10 a.m., the audio was live as witnesses on scene discussed what happened. The SO appeared to be advising dispatch of the situation. He advised the Complainant EMS was on the way. He advised the witnesses to move to the side and wait to have statements taken by responding officers.
Starting at about 10:25:55 a.m., a TPS vehicle arrived on scene. WO #1 escorted the SO to that vehicle. He told her he was driving with lights and sirens activated to assist on another call. He stopped and proceeded through and made contact basically where his vehicle stopped. He said, “She came right through.” WO #1 advised EMS was on the way and she would ride with him to get checked out.
At 10:29:44 a.m., the video ended.
BWC Footage – WO #2At 10:26:10 a.m., the video began with WO #2 parking in the intersection facing south. There was no audio. He walked over to the SO, who was standing outside of his damaged police vehicle.
At 10:26:40 a.m., the audio was live. WO #2 walked over to the southeast corner of the intersection and began taking witness statements. He requested EMS for the SO while taking statements.
Starting at about 10:31:04 a.m., while providing a statement, a witness told WO #2 that the SO “slowed down, close to a stop” at the red light.
At 10:54:46 a.m., the video ended.
BWC Footage – Officer #1Starting at about 10:33:45 a.m., Officer #1 began to take a statement from the SO, who said that he was responding to assist another unit with a disorderly male. He was southbound on Markham Road with lights and siren activated. He stopped at the intersection at Eglinton Avenue East, and it appeared that traffic was holding, after which he proceeded through and saw a white blur coming east from the west of the intersection. He could not stop and hit the driver’s side. The SO advised that he was travelling one lane in from the right turn lane. The SO asked about the other driver’s condition. He said that traffic was moderate and that there was a firetruck that had cleared the intersection going east on Eglinton Avenue. The SO said he never saw the car and that it was going at speed and not slowing down. Traffic westbound on Eglinton Avenue was stopped and there were vehicles stopped in the eastbound lanes. Some witnesses told the SO that they witnessed what had happened and he asked them to wait for other police officers. He complained of a sore wrist and was favouring his left wrist.
Starting at about 10:56:50 a.m., Officer #1 was heard saying that the Complainant just went unconscious and was unresponsive. Toronto Fire Services removed the Complainant from her vehicle, and she was placed on a stretcher. Officer #1 updated dispatch and continued to conduct scene duties.
At 1149:59 a.m., the video ended.
Communications Recordings At 10:22:54 a.m., the SO reported he had just been involved in an accident at Markham Road and Eglinton Avenue East.
At 10:23:28 a.m., the SO said he was going to check on the occupants of the other vehicle. He requested an ambulance attend.
At 10:24:14 a.m., a police officer reported there was a single occupant in the other vehicle. She was breathing and complaining of chest pain. The airbags were deployed in both vehicles.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU obtained the following materials from the TPS between October 14 and 27, 2023:
- General Occurrence Report;
- Motor Vehicle Collision Report;
- Computer-aided Dispatch Report;
- Involved Officer List;
- Witness List;
- Notes – WO #1;
- Notes – WO #2;
- Notes – WO #3;
- Notes – WO #4;
- CDR data;
- Global Positioning System data;
- Video footage – traffic camera;
- ICCS footage;
- BWC footage;
- Communications recordings; and
- Forensic Investigative Services photographs.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained the following records from other sources on January 30, 2024:
- The Complainant’s medical records from SHSC.
In the morning of October 14, 2023, the SO was operating a cruiser travelling south in the westernmost through-lane of Markham Road approaching Eglinton Avenue East. His emergency lights and siren on, the officer was responding to a call for service. Facing a red light, the SO slowed and had just about brought his cruiser to a stop before he started to travel slowly into the intersection. The officer cleared the westbound lanes and picked up his pace into the eastbound lanes where his cruiser’s front-end struck the driver side of an eastbound vehicle.
The vehicle was a Hyundai Tucson being operated by the Complainant. Seemingly unaware of the cruiser’s travel through the intersection, the Complainant had proceeded into the intersection on a green light.
The Complainant was taken from the intersection in ambulance to hospital and diagnosed with a fractured left wrist.
Section 320.13 (1) Criminal Code – Dangerous Operation Causing Bodily harm
Sections 144 (18) and 144(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.
144(20) Despite subsection (18), a driver of an emergency vehicle, after stopping the vehicle, may proceed without a green indication being shown if it is safe to do so.
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.
I am satisfied that the SO was engaged in the lawful execution of his duties as he approached the intersection. The officer was reportedly making his way to another call for service to render assistance.
I am also satisfied that the SO did not transgress the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law throughout the series of events culminating in his collision with the Complainant’s vehicle. The SO did not come to a full stop at the red light, and should have pursuant to section 144(20) of the Highway Traffic Act. I also accept that the SO failed to make sure that eastbound traffic had come to a stop before accelerating towards those lanes. On the other hand, the SO had slowed and was just about at a stop before he entered the westbound lanes of the intersection, only doing so when traffic in that direction was clear. He also had his lights and siren on to alert third-party traffic of his presence and intentions. Regrettably, there appears to have been a sightline obstruction between the cruiser and the Hyundai that played a role in the collision. While the obstruction does not excuse the officer’s failure to only proceed through the eastbound lanes when it was safe to do so, it is a mitigating factor of some weight in the liability analysis. On this record, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the SO’s indiscretions departed markedly from a reasonable standard of care.
For the foregoing reasons, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: February 9, 2024
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) Unless otherwise specified, 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.