Special Investigations Unit (SIU)

Special Investigations Unit (SIU)

July 13, 2005 09:00 ET

SIU Concludes Pelham Investigation

Attention: News Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - July 13, 2005) - The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), James Cornish, has concluded that a Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) officer is not criminally responsible for a collision in Pelham that seriously injured three people.

On June 19, 2005, an NRPS officer had just started pursuing a Toyota Corolla on Webber Road when the Toyota collided head-on with an oncoming Mercedes SUV. As a result of the collision, the sole occupant of the SUV and four teens in the Toyota were injured and taken to area hospitals for treatment. Three of the five people were seriously hurt, ranging from a broken leg to internal injuries.

The SIU investigation revealed that at approximately 10:30 a.m., an NRPS officer in a marked cruiser was driving eastbound on Webber Road and conducting routine radar patrols. The officer was east of Church Street when he passed the Toyota, which was traveling westbound on Webber Road at a high rate of speed. The officer noticed the driver of the Toyota was passing cars by weaving erratically in and out of lanes. The officer made a u-turn, activated the cruiser's lights and pursued the Toyota for unsafe passing.

At the intersection of Webber and Church, the Toyota crossed into the eastbound lane and struck an oncoming Mercedes SUV. The Toyota burst into flames and the 16-year-old driver of the car ran into a nearby field. When the involved officer arrived at the scene seconds later, he tended to the occupants of both cars and extinguished the fire. Additional police officers arrived to assist and a short while later, the teen driver of the Toyota was found in a nearby field.

Director Cornish concluded that the subject officer did nothing to cause this collision and is not criminally responsible for the injuries to those involved.

The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates circumstances involving police and civilians which have resulted in serious injury, sexual assault or death. Under Part VII, Section 113, of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU has the sole authority to decide whether or not charges are warranted based on the findings of a complete investigation. The Director's decision is reported to the Attorney General.


Rose Bliss
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de telephone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529

Contact Information

  • Rose Bliss, Communications Manager, Special Investigations Unit
    Primary Phone: 416-622-2342