L&A OPP member charged with careless driving in Highway 401 collision

A damaged OPP vehicle with deployed airbag sits in the parking lot of the Lennox and Addington County Detachment, on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell/Kingstonist.

Editor’s note: This article, originally published on Monday, Dec. 11, 2023, has been updated on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, at 2:44 p.m. Please see bottom of article for most recently updated information.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have provided more details about two motor vehicle collisions involving an officer with the Lennox and Addington County Detachment.

OPP Media Relations Officer, Acting Sergeant (A-Sgt.) Aaron Miller confirmed that OPP attended a three-vehicle collision on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, where two OPP vehicles were involved. There were no injuries. 

As a result of the investigation, he confirmed that a 42-year-old Lennox and Addington County Detachment member was charged with careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023.

Further, Miller confirmed that on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, officers responded to a two-vehicle collision involving a police vehicle on Highway 41. As a result, a 42-year-old member from the Lennox and Addington County Detachment was charged with interfering with traffic under the Highway Traffic Act.

Miller has contacted colleagues for further clarification on when the interference with traffic charge was laid.

According to Section 130.1 of the HTA, “every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway.”

In Ontario, anyone found guilty of this charge faces a penalty of six demerit points, a set fine of $400.00 to a maximum of $2,000.00, a possible six-month jail sentence, and a possible two-year licence suspension.

Violating Section 170.12 of the HTA, “interfere with traffic,” comes with a set fine of $50.00.

As reported earlier, on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, Kingstonist received a report from a concerned citizen indicating that, on the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, two OPP officers had a civilian vehicle stopped on Highway 401, east of Odessa. When a third officer — a sergeant who was allegedly observed to be driving “nearly double the speed limit” — then attended the “traffic stop already being taken care of,” that officer “hit another vehicle before colliding with a police cruiser and came very close to striking two police officers.”

For over a week, Kingstonist contacted OPP communications on numerous occasions in an attempt to verify the facts surrounding this story, but received no answer confirming or denying the allegations until after initial coverage was published.

Kingstonist has learned the name of this sergeant but has chosen to withhold it due to lack of confirmation. 

Miller indicated that “the OPP does not name individuals when they’ve been charged with provincial matters only. We will name someone when they’re charged with criminal AND provincial offences. We will not be confirming the member’s name.” 

In response to questions, Miller further explained, “Since this matter involved Highway Traffic Act (HTA) charges and there were no serious injuries, we do not release or confirm the identity of the charged person. This also applies to members of the public charged under the HTA.”

While the OPP did not explicitly confirm that it was the same 42-year-old officer involved in both collisions, Miller did say that “the member remains on active duty.”

Kingstonist has requested further information about the incidents, including whether a field sobriety test was conducted, the total cost of damage to vehicles, and whether his remaining on active duty means the member was still behind the wheel of a cruiser. 

Miller stated that a field sobriety test is “only conducted when investigating officers have reason to believe a driver is impaired,” and that, outside of finding out about the date the interference with traffic charge was laid, OPP “cannot release further [information].”

Kingstonist has confirmed with the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) that it has no report of the incidents in question and that there is no SIU investigation into those incidents at this time.

Update (Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, at 3:10 p.m.)
At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, the Lennox and Addington (L&A) County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) issued a press release on this matter. The press release explained that the November 30 collision occurred near Shannonville Road on Highway 401. It also indicated that the police sergeant charged as a result of that collision has spent “18 years in service” with the OPP. All other details in the press release were previously reported by Kingstonist.

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