SIU Clears Peel Police Officer in Brampton Crash
A Peel police officer has been cleared by the province's Special Investigations Unit after two men were seriously injured in a crash involving a cruiser in Brampton.
“… There is insufficient evidence to form reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence has been committed,” wrote SIU director Tony Loparco in his decision.
The incident took place on May 22, 2016 at 5:44 a.m.
The subject officer was driving a Dodge Charger southbound on Hwy. 10, or Main Street, near Williams Pkwy.
A Honda Civic driven by the first complainant was heading eastbound on Williams Pkwy. and turned right (southbound) onto Main St. on a red light.
It looked like the Civic was making a U-turn around a median when the police cruiser struck it sideways.
The driver - who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt - was taken to hospital with unknown injuries.
His passenger, the second complainant, was transported with facial fractures, and was unconscious and intubated at the time of intake.
As a result of the crash, the passenger suffered multiple facial fractures that required surgical repair.
The driver suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, a non-displaced fracture to his left clavicle, and multiple lacerations to the left side of his face.
Another officer was driving behind the subject driver, police told the SIU.
Both officers went to assist the men in the Civic and reported the crash at 5:45 a.m.
SIU investigators used surveillance footage from a Zum bus shelter to piece together a timeline of events.
It’s “quite clear that Complainant #1 was incorrect in his version of events - perhaps he may have become disoriented as a result of the collision,” reads the decision.
The video also “confirms that the cruiser was not travelling on the wrong side of the road, but that both vehicles were travelling in the same direction prior to the collision.”
The officer’s last reported speed - via GPS data - was 93 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.
He didn’t send or receive any text messages near the time of the collision, and he hadn’t been dispatched to a call at the time, investigators found.
The turn “made by Complainant #1 was not made in safety as he turned directly into the path of the [subject officer’s] police vehicle,” Loparco wrote.
“It may well be that, Complainant #1, when he turned right onto Main Street, did not see any traffic approaching from the north due to the significant rate of speed of the [subject officer's] police vehicle; however, it appears from the video that had he checked just prior to turning out,” the cruiser “should have been visible to him at that time.”
While the officer was indeed speeding, “and was thus in contravention of the Highway Traffic Act. The question to be determined, however, is whether or not there are reasonable grounds to believe that the [subject officer] committed a criminal offence, specifically, whether or not his driving rose to the level of being dangerous … and did thereby cause bodily harm.”
There’s no evidence the officer wasn’t driving “within the normal standards of care of a prudent driver, with the exception of his excessive rate of speed,” Loparco continued.
“The fact that Complainant #1 chose to engage in the maneuver which he did appears to support the conclusion that he and the [subject officer] both likely did not expect any traffic to be in the area at that time on a Sunday morning.”
In the final analysis,” I find that there are no grounds for proceeding with charges in this case.”
Photo courtesy of Peel Regional Police