Skip to content

SIU clears officer in wake of fatal April crash in Oro-Medonte

Man was killed after stealing OPP vehicle which he 'flipped and rolled over and over for another 42 metres'; SIU finds 'no reasonable grounds' to lay charges
A man was killed after this vehicle crashed in Oro-Medonte in April.

An OPP officer has been cleared of wrongdoing by the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) following a crash in Oro-Medonte that killed a man.

At about 4 a.m. on April 19, a break and enter occurred in Huntsville in which approximately $30,000 worth of cigarettes was stolen.

The two suspects left in a vehicle, which was later observed by Bracebridge OPP heading south on Highway 11. An attempt to stop the vehicle with a spike belt was unsuccessful, the SIU noted in a report released Wednesday.

The vehicle continued to be driven “erratically,” and further attempts to stop it with a spike belt also failed.

The suspects abandoned the vehicle at a quarry, where they stole another one.

“They continued to flee the area and the police continued to follow,” the SIU report stated. “The police made several more attempts to deploy a spike belt and, ultimately, one was successfully deployed and brought the vehicle to a stop” near Line 8 and 15/16 Sideroad in Oro-Medonte."

At that time, one of the suspects was arrested, but the other stole a police vehicle and fled the scene.

Police located the vehicle around the area of Lines 5 and 6 and 15/16 Sideroad, with the SIU noting it had “flipped and rolled over and over for another 42 metres.”

The driver was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle.

The suspect who stole it was taken to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, where he was pronounced dead at 7:39 a.m.

As a result, the SIU invoked its mandate.

An autopsy determined the man’s cause of death was “attributable to multiple blunt force trauma consistent with a motor-vehicle collision.”

The report notes next of kin of the deceased were not interviewed. The surviving suspect and the subject officials involved declined to be interviewed. Three “witness officials” were interviewed.

When the SIU arrived at the scene of the crash at 11:40 a.m., the report notes, “the weather was cool, and wet snow had fallen. The roads were wet.”

In a news release, the SIU noted its director, Joseph Martino, “found no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer committed a criminal offence” during the incident.

“Director Martino found no reasonable grounds to believe the subject official transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law, leaving no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file has been closed.”

The full director’s report can be found here.