SIU Concludes Fatal Sarnia Collision Investigation
(10 June, 2021) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, has concluded there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a Sarnia Police Service (SPS) officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the death of a 40-year-old man in Sarnia.
The SIU assigned four investigators, two forensic investigators and a collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances surrounding the incident.
On February 10, 2021, the man was operating a stolen vehicle and traveling in excess of 130 km/h northbound on Russell Street North when he crashed his vehicle. The vehicle had veered right into a chain link fence that lined the perimeter of the yard in front of Hanna Memorial Public School. A piece of metal railing at the top of the fence penetrated into the vehicle’s interior and perforated the man’s body, resulting in his death. As his vehicle was briefly pursued by an SPS officer moments before the collision, the SIU was notified and opened a file.
Based on the SIU’s investigation, which included a review of GPS data associated with the speeds and directionality of the officer’s cruiser, a forensic reconstruction of the collision, and video recordings from security cameras that captured the incident in parts, Director Martino concluded “there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer comported himself other than within the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law”.
The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
- publicly report the results of its investigations
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Loida Pedro, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342