Special Investigations Unit says police officer will not be charged

Map of the crash scene – Courtesy of the SIU

A Brampton driver was intoxicated and fled a police traffic stop at a high rate of speed, causing a crash that injured him and three other people.

That was the finding of the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), who probed the incident on Dec. 31, 2016 to see if a Peel Regional Police officer should be charged.

The incident occurred at Vodden Street and Rutherford Road around 2 a.m.

According to the SIU, four people were injured in the crash, which involved a Nissan car and a cargo van.

A Peel police officer attempted a traffic stop in the area of Queen Street and Kennedy Road, but the car fled and later crashed with the cargo van.

The 26-year-old male driver of the Nissan suffered life-threatening injuries, including internal stomach bleeding and a brain injury, and was transported by Peel Region Paramedics to a Toronto trauma centre. His 26-year-old male passenger, along with two men in the van, aged 61 and 58, were also hospitalized with less serious injuries.

The SIU probe found that the driver of the Nissan and his passenger were “intoxicated” at the time of the crash.

The Peel officer who tried to pull over the Nissan briefly activated his emergency lights — for less than 10 seconds — and initiated a pursuit but quickly called it off, likely due to safety concerns.

“It can be inferred on this evidence that the subject officer considered whether in order to protect public safety, the immediate need to apprehend an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle, or the need to identify the fleeing motor vehicle or an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle, outweighed the risk to public safety that may result from the pursuit…and determined that it did not,” SIU director Tony Loparco said in his ruling, released March 1.

The SIU, which probes all incidents between police and civilians that end in death, serious injury or with allegations of sexual assault, found the police response was justified in this case.

“On a review of all of the evidence, I find that there is no evidence that the driving of the subject officer created a danger to other users of the roadway or that at any time did he interfere with other traffic; he used his emergency equipment prudently, initially activating his emergency equipment to attempt to stop the Nissan, but immediately deactivated his equipment when it became clear that (the driver) was not going to stop,” Loparco said. “Furthermore, the evidence establishes that the subject officer did nothing to exacerbate the Nissan’s pattern of dangerous driving.”

Source: Brampton Guardian