No Criminal Charges Warranted Against Officer in Relation to Selwyn Township Collision that Injured Three People
(16 September, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer committed a criminal offence in connection with a motor vehicle collision in Selwyn Township in May that resulted in serious injuries to a 44-year-old man, 38-year-old woman and a 3-year-old child.
In the morning of May 20, 2022, the man was operating an Audi S3 southbound on Buckhorn Road from Line Road 17. In the passenger seat was the woman. They had started their journey southbound passing several vehicles in the northbound lane. The driving behaviour of the Audi caught the attention of an off-duty officer. Operating an unmarked police pick-up truck southbound on Buckhorn Road, the officer began to chase after the Audi, passing vehicles on the single southbound lane. About a couple of hundred metres north of 11 Line, unable to re-enter the southbound lane after passing one or more vehicles, the Audi collided head-on with a northbound motorist. Firefighters, paramedics and police officers responded to the scene. The persons in the vehicles were each sent to hospital. The woman from the Audi suffered multiple fractures across her body, while the man from the Audi was reportedly diagnosed and treated for an undisclosed serious injury. From the other vehicle, a 3-year-old child suffered a fractured right arm.
When weighing the officer’s indiscretions and the extenuating considerations, Director Martino was unable to reasonably conclude that the officer transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. As such, there was no basis for proceeding with charges in this case. 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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Kristy Denette, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES