SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-OVD-421
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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 deaths of a 17-year-old male (“Complainant #1”) and a 19-year-old male (“Complainant #2”), and the serious injuries of a 48-year-old female (“Complainant #3”) and a 17-year-old male (“Complainant #4”).
Notification of the SIU On October 15, 2023, at 2:07 a.m., the Windsor Police Service (WPS) contacted the SIU with the following information.
On October 15, 2023, at approximately 1:20 a.m., uniform members of the WPS observed a Dodge Charger proceed through a red light at a high rate of speed at the intersection of Park Street and Ouellette Avenue in the City of Windsor. The involved officers activated their emergency lighting in an attempt to stop the vehicle, but it continued northbound on Ouellette Street making no attempt to stop. The officers were reported to have discontinued their attempt to stop the vehicle just south of University Avenue. The Dodge Charger continued northbound on Ouellette Street and then eastbound on Riverside Drive where it eventually collided with at least one civilian vehicle at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Glengarry Avenue.
The Dodge Charger was occupied by four males. One male, believed to be the driver, Complainant #1, was transported to the Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH), Ouellette Campus, and pronounced deceased. A second male, Complainant #2, believed to be occupying the rear passenger seat of the Dodge Charger, was ejected during the collision. He too was pronounced deceased. The two other occupants of the Dodge Charger, Civilian Witness (CW) #1 and Complainant #4, were transported to WRH with non-life-threatening injuries.
An occupant from a civilian vehicle involved in the collision suffered unknown non-life-threatening injuries.
The scene had been secured for forensic examination and collision reconstruction.
The Subject Official (SO) was the driver of the involved cruiser, and Witness Official (WO) #2 was the passenger.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 2023/10/15 at 2:51 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 2023/10/15 at 7:30 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2
Number of SIU Collision Reconstructionists assigned: 1
Affected Persons (aka “Complainants”): Complainant #1 17-year-old male; deceased
Complainant #2 19-year-old male; deceased
Complainant #3 48-year-old female; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed
Complainant #4 17-year-old male; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainants were interviewed between October 15 and 16, 2023.
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Interviewed
CW #6 Interviewed
CW #7 Interviewed
CW #8 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between October 15 and 30, 2023.
Subject OfficialSO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
Witness OfficialsWO #1 Interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #2 Interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #3 Interviewed; notes received and reviewed
The witness officials were interviewed between October 23 and 27, 2023.
The Scene The events in question transpired on a stretch of roadway beginning at the intersection of Ouellette Avenue and Park Street, continuing north on Ouellette Avenue and east on Riverside Drive East, and ending at the site of a motor vehicle collision at the intersection of Riverside Drive East and Glengarry Avenue, Windsor.
Scene DiagramThe scale diagram of the collision scene was mapped by SIU forensic investigators on October 15, 2023.
Physical Evidence Riverside Drive East was in excellent condition with good markings. The intersection with Glengarry Avenue was controlled by traffic signal lights.
The speed limit on Riverside Drive East would not appear to have been posted and, therefore, was presumed to be the default speed limit of 50 km/h.
There were two areas of impact in or near the intersection of Riverside Drive East and Glengarry Avenue. The first area of impact was in the intersection generally in line with eastbound through-lane 1 (numbered from the centre outwards). The first area of impact was identified by a tire mark. There were also some small pieces of debris. In the first area of impact, an eastbound Dodge struck a Chrysler minivan that was westbound on Riverside Drive East and turning left to travel south on Glengarry Avenue.
The second area of impact was identified by gouges and tire marks. The eastbound Dodge, which was out of control as a result of the impact with the Chrysler, struck a westbound Toyota.
The tire marks indicated the Chrysler minivan rotated about 180 degrees post-impact. The pre-impact tire marks from the Dodge continued east from the first area of impact and led to the second area of impact. Tire marks led from the second area of impact east to the final resting position of the Toyota. These tire marks indicated the Toyota rotated after the collision with the Dodge.
As per Environment Canada historical weather data, there was no rain in Windsor between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. There had been rain before the collision and there was rain after the collision. The temperature was 9.3 degrees Celsius, the humidity was 86 percent, the wind was 21 km/h, and the visibility was 16.1 kilometres.
The involved vehicles were still in the positions at which they came to rest when the SIU arrived on scene.
The Police VehicleThe police vehicle driven by the SO was unmarked. It was not involved in the collision - there was no damage to the vehicle. The vehicle had been left parked and locked, with the engine off, at the scene.
Using the Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) system, a download of the police vehicle’s air bag module was conducted. There was no collision event recorded in the air bag module.
The Dodge ChargerThe Dodge Charger had been split into two pieces (front and rear) at about the B pillar in the middle of the vehicle.
The Dodge was an older model and not supported by the CDR system. It offered no data from the air bag module related to speed, braking and acceleration. Due to the catastrophic damage, no conclusions could be drawn regarding the mechanical fitness of the Dodge.
Global Positioning System (GPS) Data – The SO’s Cruiser From 1:15 a.m. to 1:20 a.m., October 15, 2023, the SO and WO #2 were stationary at the traffic light-controlled intersection of Park Street and Ouellette Avenue, on the east side of the intersection slightly east of the stop line.
At 1:20:08 a.m., the SO travelled northbound on Ouellette Avenue. Within about 40 metres, he quickly accelerated to at least 39 km/h, then slowed.
At 1:20:28 a.m., the SO stopped near the traffic light-controlled intersection of Ouellette Avenue and University Avenue. He had driven about 125 metres on Ouellette Avenue.
At 1:20:38 a.m., the SO was stationary at Ouellette Avenue and University Avenue.
At 1:20:48 a.m., the SO was stationary at Ouellette Avenue and University Avenue.
At 1:20:58 a.m., the SO was stationary at Ouellette Avenue and University Avenue.
At 1:21:08 a.m., the SO was stationary at Ouellette Avenue and University Avenue.
At 1:21:18 a.m., the SO was stationary at Ouellette Avenue and University Avenue.
At 1:21:28 a.m., the SO travelled northbound on Ouellette Avenue.
At 1:21:38 a.m., the SO was northbound on Ouellette Avenue at Chatham Street at 36 km/h.
At 1:21:48 a.m., the SO was northbound on Ouellette Avenue approaching Pitt Street at 8 km/h.
At 1:22:18 a.m., the SO was stationary at the intersection of Ouellette Avenue and Riverside Drive. He had travelled a distance of about 375 metres on Ouellette Avenue with a maximum recorded speed of 35 km/h.
At 1:22:38 a.m., the SO turned right from Ouellette Avenue to eastbound Riverside Drive East.
At 1:22:58 a.m., the SO was at Goyeau Street travelling east at 41 km/h.
Between 1:23:18 and 1:23:28 a.m., the SO passed in front of Caesars Windsor casino at speeds of 49 and 47 km/h, respectively.
At 1:23:38 a.m., the SO was at the intersection of Riverside Drive East and Glengarry Avenue.
SIU Collision Reconstructionist’s ConclusionsThe Dodge Charger travelled at approximately 145 km/h as he approached a solid red traffic signal light at the intersection of Riverside Drive East and Glengarry Avenue. Traffic westbound on Riverside Drive East had received an advanced green left-turn indication a few seconds earlier.
The Charger braked as it reached the intersection. It entered the intersection generally in line with the left side of eastbound lane 1 (passing lane).
Complainant #1 entered the intersection against a red light. The Dodge Charger slowed to about 88 km/h. The front passenger side corner of the Dodge struck the rear passenger side corner of a minivan turning left.
The Dodge charger continued eastbound east of the intersection, out of control, and having been deflected towards the westbound lanes by the first impact. It crossed over the centre line into the westbound left-turn lane. The middle driver side of the Dodge Charger collided violently with the front of a Toyota vehicle. This caused the rotation of the Dodge Charger to violently reverse direction, which split the Dodge in half.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Video Footage - Caesars Windsor CasinoThe casino had numerous high quality surveillance video cameras recording on the morning of October 15, 2023. Casino security provided the SIU with seven different camera views, which were for the most part across the front of the building, including the intersection of Riverside Drive East and Glengarry Avenue, and as far west on Riverside Drive East as Ouellette Avenue. The roads were wet or, at least, damp. There appeared to be a very light rain.
Starting at about 1:20:24 a.m., October 15, 2023, the traffic signal light at Riverside Drive East and Glengarry Avenue turned red. A light-coloured sedan that was eastbound stopped at the stop line. A westbound car approached and stopped at the red light in westbound lane 1 (numbered outwards from the centre of the road). A few seconds later, a Chrysler minivan [now known to be driven by CW #5] approached and stopped in the left-turn lane. Three or four other westbound vehicles also approached the intersection.
Starting at about 1:20:44 a.m., all the traffic signal lights west of the collision scene for traffic on Riverside Drive East were green. A Dodge Charger [now known to be driven by Complainant #1] travelled at a high rate of speed eastbound and passed another vehicle at the intersection of Goyeau Street.
Starting at about 1:20:50 a.m., the Dodge Charger drove through the intersection at McDougall Street on the west side of the casino.
Starting at about 1:20:53 a.m., the traffic which had been stopped westbound on Riverside Drive East (including the Chrysler minivan) moved forward into the intersection as if the traffic signal light had changed to an advanced green indication (the colour of the westbound traffic signal light was not in view of any casino camera). The Dodge travelled eastbound in the westbound lanes and passed a pick-up truck [now known to be driven by CW #2] in front of the casino. At about the same time, CW #5 began a left turn across the eastbound lanes of Riverside Drive East towards Glengarry Avenue. The brake lights activated on the Dodge, which was about 40 metres from the stop line. The Dodge Charger straddled the yellow lane marking between eastbound lane 1 (numbered from the centre outwards) and the painted centre median, and passed a light-coloured sedan that had stopped at the red light in lane 2. The Dodge entered the intersection of Riverside Drive East and Glengarry Avenue. A collision occurred in the intersection as the Dodge Charger struck CW #5’s vehicle, which rotated clockwise and came to rest a few metres to the south. The Dodge was slightly deflected into the westbound lane but continued at a high speed. It began to rotate clockwise, and crossed over the centre line and into the westbound left-turn lane slightly sideways. The middle driver side of the Dodge collided violently with the front driver side corner of CW #6’s vehicle. The Dodge then violently rotated counterclockwise and continued east out of the image. CW #6’s vehicle rotated clockwise and came to rest a few metres back in the westbound lanes.
Between about 1:20 and 1:23 a.m., many vehicles stopped, and witnesses to the collision and other people ran to the scene.
Starting at about 1:23:00 a.m., the SO drove eastbound on Riverside Drive East at Goyeau Street. He followed two other cars at an unremarkable rate of speed. The police vehicle’s emergency lights were not activated. The SO continued eastbound on Riverside Drive East at an unremarkable rate of speed in front of the casino towards Glengarry Avenue, and slowed.
Starting at about 1:23:25 a.m., the flashing emergency lights were activated on the SO’s police vehicle as he approached the intersection.
Starting at about 1:23:27 a.m., a fully marked WPS vehicle with its emergency lights flashing [now known to be WO #3 and another officer] travelled northbound on Glengarry Avenue and stopped at the scene.
Starting at about 1:23:33 a.m., the SO arrived at the intersection with the flashing emergency lights activated.
Police Communications RecordingsStarting at about 1:20:24 a.m., October 15, 2023, a male broadcast, “Just had a Charger take off from us northbound Ouellette. Looks like it’s at Riverside now. Went through a couple of red lights. Just trying to see, with long eyes, which way it’s going to turn. We are not in pursuit.”
Starting at about 1:22:12 a.m., the dispatcher broadcast they were receiving a call and that the Dodge was possibly involved in a collision with injuries at Riverside Drive East and Glengarry Avenue.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU obtained the following materials from the WPS between October 15, 2023, and December 1, 2023:
- GPS data – the SO’s cruiser;
- Communications recordings;
- Scene photographs;
- Call Information;
- Civilian Witness Lists;
- Mobile Data Terminal messages;
- Initial Officer Report – WO #3;
- Mechanical Inspection Report - Dodge Charger;
- Motor Vehicle Accident Fatal Reconstruction Report – Officer #3;
- Notes – WO #1;
- Notes – WO #3;
- Notes – WO #2;
- Notes – Officer #1;
- Notes – Officer #2;
- Notes – Officer #3;
- Property Reports;
- Forensic Reports;
- Scene Collision Report;
- Scene photos;
- Supervisory Reports; and
- Supplementary Reports.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained the following records from other sources between October 16, 2023, and December 14, 2023:
- Video footage - Caesars Windsor; and
- Medical records of Complainant #4, CW #1, CW #6, and Complainant #3 from WRHOC.
In the early morning of October 15, 2023, the SO and his partner, WO #2, both members of the WPS Emergency Service Unit, were on patrol in downtown Windsor. The SO was operating an unmarked vehicle and WO #2 was his passenger. They were stopped on Park Street, facing west just east of Ouellette Avenue, when their attention was drawn to a Dodge Charger travelling north towards them. The Charger proceeded through the intersection on a red light and the SO decided they would try to stop the vehicle for a traffic infraction. As the SO turned right onto Ouellette Street, the officers observed the Charger disregard another red light at University Avenue. They had completed their turn and travelled north a short distance when the SO turned off the emergency lights and pulled over.
Complainant #1 was operating the Charger. With him in the vehicle were Complainant #2, Complainant #4 and CW #1. Complainant #1 had been drinking and driving dangerously. Noticing the emergency lights of the SO’s cruiser, he decided to accelerate to get away. Complainant #1 travelled north to Riverside Drive where he turned right and continued east at speed. He entered the Glengarry Avenue intersection, about 630 metres east of Ouellette Avenue, on a red light and struck a van turning left to travel south. The Charger continued east, struck a westbound Toyota and split in half. The time was about 1:20 a.m.
The police were alerted to the collision by persons at the scene. The SO and WO #2 made their way to the intersection of Glengarry Avenue and Riverside Drive, and confirmed that one of the involved vehicles was the Charger they had earlier observed.
Complainant #1 and Complainant #2 died of injuries incurred in the collision. Complainant #4 and Complainant #3 were seriously injured.
Section 320.13 (2) and (3), Criminal Code – Dangerous operation causing bodily harm or death
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offences that arise for consideration are dangerous driving causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing death contrary to sections 320.13(2) and (3) of the Criminal Code. As offences of penal negligence, a simple want of care will not suffice to give rise to liability. Rather, they are 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. There clearly was not.
The SO was in the lawful execution of his duty when he briefly activated his emergency lights and turned right onto Ouellette Avenue after Complainant #1’s Charger. Having observed Complainant #1 travel through a red light, the officer was within his rights in attempting to stop him for a traffic infraction.
The SO had completed his turn and travelled north a short distance when, seeing Complainant #1 travel through another red light, he decided to disengage, turn off his emergency lights and pull over. That was a reasonable thing to do. Complainant #1 had now committed two very dangerous maneuvers, the latter when he possibly knew of the police presence behind him, and there was reason to believe a police pursuit would only aggravate the risk to public safety. In fact, Complainant #1, believing the cruiser was after them and intent on escape, continued to drive recklessly en route to the scene of the collision. The SO was still on Ouellette Avenue when the collision occurred. He would subsequently make his way to the intersection of Riverside Drive and Glengarry Avenue to render assistance.
On the aforementioned-record, it is apparent that the SO did not transgress the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law in his brief engagement with Complainant #1’s Charger. As such, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges. The file is closed.
Date: February 12, 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.