The Special Investigations Unit cleared an Ontario Provincial Police officer of any wrongdoing after the driver of a pick-up truck in Toronto sped away at the sight of police and caused an accident that sent two pedestrians to the hospital with serious injuries.

In a release issued Wednesday, the SIU said the incident occurred on the evening of Dec. 5. Two OPP officers in cruisers, with their emergency lights activated, were on the way to an unrelated call in Scarborough. One vehicle was a marked police Dodge Charger, while the other, the one the subject official (SO) was driving, was unmarked.

The officers were travelling southbound on Keele Street and were approaching Highway 401 eastbound ramp when a driver in a Dodge Durango, travelling in front of police, “panicked” and accelerated.

The driver of the Durango turned left into the passing lane of Keele Street before swerving into the curb lane toward the next set of lights, which were red for southbound traffic at the time. The driver of the pick-up truck approached the intersection at 90 km/h while the red light was on, and collided into the front end of a Honda Accord in the middle of the intersection.

The Durango continued southward and hit two pedestrians who had been crossing at the time.

The SIU report notes that the intersection was controlled by traffic lights in all directions, well-lit by overhead street lighting and despite being about 0 C that evening, the roads were dry.

Both pedestrians, a 24-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man, were transported to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to be treated for their serious leg fractures.

The SO had just gotten onto the Highway 401 eastbound ramp when they noticed the collision and rerouted their vehicles to attend the scene. The officer pulled his vehicle up beside the Durango, prompting the driver to exit his vehicle and run away from the scene, where he was seen heading eastbound.

The subject official dispatched the fail to remain collision just before 11 p.m.

SIU Director Joseph Martino noted the driver of the Durango appeared to accelerate at the sight of police vehicles, he said there’s no indication that the SO’s conduct was criminal. The officer never engaged with the Durango, much less in pursuit of it.

Martino noted while police were the “unwitting impetus for the Durango driver’s ill-advised acceleration into an intersection against a red light,” the officer did nothing wrong, adding no criminal charges will be laid. 

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