siu clears west grey police after fatal crash near durham
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SIU clears West Grey police after fatal crash near Durham

Ontario’s police watchdog has cleared a West Grey Police Service officer of any wrongdoing after a man died during a police chase last year.

The Special Investigations Unit launched the probe on November 7, 2021, after a driver West Grey police officers were pursuing crashed into an SUV containing three people.

At around 1:30 p.m., police were following the driver of a Ford F-150 truck that had been reported stolen earlier that day. In an attempt to stop the driver, who was allegedly operating erratically, an officer deployed a spike stick on Grey County Road 4 at Camp Oliver Road near Durham.

When the pickup driver ran over the stick, he continued ahead for a short distance before the vehicle swerved into the eastbound lane, hitting a Nissan Rogue SUV.

The impact killed the 40-year-old driver of the SUV and seriously injured the two other passengers, a 26-year-old man and the driver’s 14-year-old daughter. The driver of the F-150 suffered serious injuries.

On Monday, SIU Director Joseph Martino concluded the investigation and determined the officer who deployed the spike stick did not commit a criminal offence.

“In the circumstances, the use of a spike stick had the potential to safely bring the pickup truck to a stop if it worked as intended, namely, to create a gradual and controlled tire deflation,” Martino said in his report. “The location the officers had chosen to execute the tactic, a rural road that ran straight for a couple of kilometres, was also ideal as it would mitigate the risk to public safety in the event the tire deflation resulted in a loss of control by the driver.”

The file has since been closed.
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