The province’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has ruled that charges are not warranted after a police chase in Napanee led to a collision where two people were seriously injured.
Ontario’s police watchdog says the single-vehicle crash happened April 5 just before midnight.
An OPP officer was in pursuit of a Jeep SUV that was reportedly going 176 km/h on Highway 401 near Napanee. The SIU said the officer reached 180 km/h in pursuit of the vehicle. Although the report noted that the officer’s high speed was worthy of scrutiny, the SIU decided that the speed did not put any other motorists in danger, and did not fuel the “reckless driving” exhibited by the driver of the Jeep.
“Indeed, it does not appear that (the driver) was even aware of the subject officer’s presence behind her until just before the Palace Road exit. In the circumstances, while I suspect that (the driver) took the off-ramp in an effort to flee from the police, she had ample opportunity to adjust her driving behaviour and is alone responsible for her failure to do so and the resulting collision,” the SIU concluded.
According to the SIU report, when the driver of the speeding vehicle took the off-ramp at a Napanee exit, the Jeep exited the ramp and rolled over several times, resulting in injuries to two passengers inside the vehicle.
One was diagnosed with a bruised spleen and broken ribs while the other was treated for a fractured back and broken ribs. Three out of four people inside the vehicle were arrested at the scene, while the fourth allegedly fled the area into a nearby forest. She was found later by police dogs and arrested.
In the end, the SIU says the officer conducted himself within the limits of the law and dismissed the matter.
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