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Monday May 13th, 2013

Posted at 3:04pm

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Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an OPP officer with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 39-year-old man last month.

The SIU assigned three investigators, three forensic investigators and a collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident and interviewed five witness officers and five citizens. The SIU says the subject officer declined to be interviewed or provide a copy of his notes to the SIU, as is his legal right.

The investigation determined that around 12:30am on April 18th the subject officer attempted to stop a green Ford Mercury Grand Marquis in the area of County Road 46 and Manning Road, east of Windsor. The civilian car did not stop and began to accelerate. The subject officer continued to follow the vehicle. The officer radioed in the licence plate number and ascertained to whom the vehicle was registered. He reported that the vehicle was travelling at speeds up to 155 km/hr.  The subject officer initiated a suspect apprehension pursuit of the vehicle and activated his emergency equipment.

The SIU says that north of the 401 overpass, the driver of the Grand Marquis lost control of his vehicle, and left the roadway on the east side of Manning Road. The vehicle rolled over a number of times and came to rest on its roof. The best estimate of the length of the pursuit was less than a minute.

The driver was partially ejected from the vehicle but trapped under the roof of his car. The subject officer and others lifted the vehicle to extricate the man and CPR was started.

EMS arrived and transported the man to Windsor Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The SIU says a subsequent post-mortem examination determined the probable cause of death to be trauma to the neck and head.

SIU Director Ian Scott said, “The only reasonable inference to draw from this investigation is that the man fled from the police in an attempt to elude apprehension. He continued to accelerate as he drove northbound on Manning Road, lost control of his vehicle, rolled it on the east side of the roadway and  unfortunately died as a result of the ensuing trauma of the collision. The subject officer was involved in a very short pursuit before the pursued vehicle left the roadway and there is no suggestion of contact between the two vehicles. It would appear that the man was the author of his own misfortune when he lost control of his vehicle.”

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