SIU clears Ottawa police officers in fatal Vanier Parkway crash
No police officers will be charged in relation to a fatal crash on the Vanier Parkway in April 2016.
Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017 1:06PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 17, 2017 1:27PM EDT
Ontario's police watchdog says there are no grounds to lay criminal charges against any Ottawa Police officer in relation to a deadly crash on the Vanier Parkway last year.
The crash resulted in the death of 24-year-old Alex Cross, and seriously injured a 21-year-old female passenger.
The incident began when police attempted to stop a Pontiac G6 at Cumberland and George streets.There was a brief pursuit that was quickly called off.
An investigation by the Special Investigations Unit cleared the officers involved.
"There is no basis whatsoever to hold either of the two subject officers responsible for the terrible outcomes of the motor vehicle collision," SIU director Tony Loparco said in a statement on Tuesday.
The SIU investigation found that two police cruisers pursued the G6 eastbound on Rideau Street, but called off the chase after about 30 seconds. The driver wasn't stopping at red lights.
The vehicle continued to speed over the Cummings Briddge, then hung a right on North River Road and a left on McArthur Avenue before running a red light at the Vanier Parkway and striking the other vehicle.
Loparco said the pursuit was short-lived, and the driver operated his vehicle at high speeds through several red lights with no one following him.
"As a result of the prudent decision of the road Sergeant, the two subject officers cannot be said to have causally contributed to the collision in a legal sense," Loparco said.The 39-year-old driver of the Pontiac G6 died months later, in December. His name has not been released.
The SIU interviewed nine civilian witnesses and five witness officers. The notes of an additional six officers were reviewed. Two officers were designated as subject officers.
The SIU said neither officer consented to interviews or to the release of their duty notes, as is their legal right.
The SIU also reviewed of video footage from several businesses and city traffic camera videos. They also listened to police communications recordings and vehicle location data.