No Charges in High-Speed Police Pursuit on Hwy. 401 that Ended in Serious Injuries
(1 October, 2021) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that an officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the serious injuries suffered by a woman who was a passenger in a pickup truck that crashed during a high-speed pursuit by Chatham-Kent Police Service in 2020.
On the afternoon of November 28, 2020, an officer in a marked cruiser initiated a pursuit of the driver of a pickup truck who was bound by a term of recognizance to not associate with the passenger. His driver’s licence was also suspended. An 11-kilometre high speed pursuit eastbound on the Highway 401 followed before the pickup truck crashed on the Kent Bridge Road off-ramp. The female passenger was taken to hospital and diagnosed with fractures and ligament damage to her spine.
Director Martino concluded that the officer should have discontinued the pursuit due to public safety considerations; however, he found the officer’s driving was not a marked departure from a reasonable standard of care in the circumstances. The file has been closed.
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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SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES