Ontario’s police watchdog has closed its investigation into a fatal car chase in Huntsville.
The Special Investigations Unit says it has “no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer committed a criminal offence,” in relation to the April 19 incident.
The agency’s report says officers were responding to a break-and-enter in Huntsville when two suspects fled south down Hwy 11. After their vehicle was damaged by a police spike trap, the pair allegedly stole another vehicle, which was disabled by another spike trap.
According to the agency, one of the suspects then stole a police cruiser, continued west through Oro-Medonte on Sideroad 15/16, crashed into multiple ditches west of 8 Line, and was ejected from the vehicle. Officers took the man to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.
“I am further satisfied that the officer comported herself with due care and regard for public safety, including the Complainant’s safety,” says SIU Director Joseph Martino. “There is no suggestion, for example, that the [subject officer] drove the Complainant off the road, either directly or by applying unnecessary pressure and preventing him from altering course.”
Martino adds that the suspect was driving about 150 kilometres per hour on wet roads, and the responding officer followed more than a kilometre behind.