Members of area Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachments were involved in a pursuit on Highway 401 on the afternoon of Thursday, Jun. 18, 2020.
The suspect driver was driving eastbound on the westbound lanes of the highway, beginning around 2:50 p.m. in the area of Joyceville Road, just east of Kingston. OPP pursued the vehicle and deployed a spike strip in order to stop it, and the continued westbound and collided with an OPP vehicle before driving eastbound in the westbound lanes. Two other police vehicles were damaged as officers were able safely stop the vehicle near Gananoque with no serious injuries The suspect was subsequently apprehended just before 3 p.m.
One officer received minor injuries when his vehicle was struck. The Ministry of Transportation attended to assist with traffic control and brief lane closures. OPP Traffic Collision Investigators and an OPP Collision Reconstructionist also attended assisted in the investigation. Multiple lanes of Highway 401 between Joyceville Road and Deer Ridge Drive were closed as a result.
“We had an individual driving the wrong way on the highway, which, of course, is very, very dangerous and a large concern, but we were able to get him stopped without any serious incident,” said Bill Dickson, Media Relations Coordinator for the OPP East Region.
“When we have an incident like this, we are able to call on officers further away to stop the traffic coming towards the person driving the wrong way. Given the safety issues incidents like this pose, multiple officers were called and responded quickly.”
Dickson said no injuries were sustained as a result of the incident, and that there was no threat to public safety, apart from when the suspect was driving in the wrong direction. That individual is now in custody, and Dickson said the closed lanes of the highway should be reopened relatively shortly.
Update (Friday, Jun. 19, 2020):
The OPP have released the charges laid against the accused man. As a result of this incident, Sukhwinder Singh, 27, of Mississauga, Ontario has been charged with:
- Flight from a peace officer
- Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000
- Four counts of failure to comply with recognizance orders
- Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm
- Operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm
- Operation of a motor vehicle while impaired with a blood alcohol concentration exceeding the legal limit
- Failure to stop after an accident
- Obstruction of a peace officer
- Personation with intent to avoid arrest, prosecution or obstruct justice (identity fraud)
- Driving while under suspension
- Driving a motor vehicle with liquor readily available
“Driving the wrong way on the highway is extremely dangerous behaviour”, Acting Inspector Joshua Kingsley said in a press release on Friday, Jun. 19, 2020. “We had officers focused on stopping the suspect vehicle while others were attempting to slow down westbound traffic for public safety.”