SIU clears officer after serious motor vehicle collision in early 2022

Kingston Police at the scene of a two vehicle collision which closed Concession, Victoria and Nelson Streets overnight on January 14, 2022. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has closed the case on an investigation into a Kingston Police officer who had interaction with a vehicle, moments ahead of a serious motor vehicle collision that resulted in injuries to two individuals.

On the night of January 14, 2022, in the area of Queen Street and Barrie Street, the officer attempted to stop a Honda Civic that she observed was being operated recklessly. According to the SIU, the Kingston Police officer attempted a traffic stop after witnessing the vehicle spin out in the intersection of Queen Street and Clergy Street, after which it travelled west in the eastbound lanes before swerving around the officer’s cruiser and continuing through the Queen and Barrie Streets intersection on a red light. After executing a U-turn, the officer followed after the vehicle through the Barrie Street intersection, but quickly abandoned any thoughts of a pursuit as it accelerated away westbound and turned north onto Division Street, SIU stated. The officer stopped her cruiser curbside, radioed what had just happened and, receiving permission to follow the route taken by the vehicle, continued onto Division Street travelling north — the direction the Civic had gone.

Shortly thereafter, police received word of a motor vehicle collision at the intersection of Concession Street and Nelson Street. According to the SIU, a two-door Honda Civic, occupied by three males, had run the stop sign at Concession Street traveling north into the intersection, and struck a Nissan Versa. The officer who had attempted to stop a Civic earlier that evening attended the scene of the collision to render assistance. Suspecting that the Civic might have been the vehicle she had earlier observed, the officer notified a sergeant, according to the SIU.

The two passengers in the Civic suffered serious injuries and, as there was some indication that an officer had tried to stop the vehicle in which they were occupants minutes before the collision, the SIU was notified and initiated an investigation.

The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, terminated the investigation, saying, “There is no evidence of any dangerous driving or want of care in the manner in which the [officer] operated her vehicle that could attract criminal lability.”

“Having observed a vehicle being operated dangerously, the officer was within her rights in deciding to stop it,” Martino continued. “She did so reasonably without creating any hazards on the roadway – she activated the cruiser’s emergency lights, briefly turned on its siren to safely clear the intersection at Barrie Street, and wisely pulled over after the intersection when it became clear that the driver of the vehicle had fled the area at speed. Thereafter, there is again no indication of risky driving by the [officer] as she travelled north on Division Street and then towards the scene of the collision at Nelson Street and Concession Street. Her speed was at all times within the speed limit.”

“As there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the [officer] transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law in the moments prior to the collision, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the officer. The file is closed.”

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigated the conduct of police officers that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault, and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians.

Read the full SIU report here.

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