'No reasonable grounds' to charge officer after Bradford collision seriously injures 4: SIU

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has found that there are “no reasonable grounds” to charge a South Simcoe police officer after four people suffered serious injuries in a collision in Bradford last July.

On July 24, 2018, officers were in pursuit of an SUV in connection to a theft at the Tanger Outlets at Highway 89 and Highway 400, the SIU says.

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The pursuit took place at 5:45 p.m. and ended at 5:53 p.m., the SIU adds.

According to the SIU, the pursuit started in Innisfil when the SUV accelerated away from a police cruiser.

An officer in the first cruiser asked for the assistance of a second cruiser, at which point the second cruiser started pursuing the SUV into Bradford, the SIU adds.

The suspect vehicle entered a Walmart parking lot before continuing west on County Road 88 toward Highway 400, the SIU says.

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The SUV was then involved in a collision with a civilian vehicle at County Road 88, one kilometre east of Highway 400, the SIU adds.

All three occupants of the pursued vehicle were taken to South Lake Hospital in serious condition, the SIU says, while the driver of the other vehicle was taken to the hospital with chest pains.

“I am unable to find fault with the manner in which the SO  conducted the police pursuit in question,” Joseph Martino, the SIU’s interim director, wrote in the case report.

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“Though the officer exceeded the speed limit at points, travelling as fast as 110 km/h south on 10 Sideroad and 119 km/h west on Highway 88, he was engaged in the execution of his duties and therefore exempt from the speed limits.”

According to Martino, there’s no evidence that other drivers were threatened by the manner in which the police cruiser was operating.

“The SO had grounds to initiate the pursuit,” he said in the report.

“I am satisfied that the SO’s conduct fell within the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law.”

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