Special Investigations Unit (SIU)

Special Investigations Unit (SIU)

April 21, 2005 12:05 ET

SIU Concludes Investigation into Burlington Death

Attention: News Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - April 21, 2005) - James L. Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded there is no reasonable basis to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer committed any criminal offence in relation to the death of Pierre Payette.

Mr. Payette died on February 16, 2005, after he was struck by a car in the eastbound lanes of the Queen Elizabeth Highway (QEW) at the Guelph Line, in Burlington.

Six SIU investigators were assigned to probe the circumstances surrounding Mr. Payette's death. As part of the investigation, investigators interviewed 28 police and civilian witnesses. Forensic identification technicians videotaped, measured and prepared scene drawings where Mr. Payette was killed. His medical records were also received and reviewed.

The SIU investigation revealed that at approximately 7:19 p.m., an OPP officer responded from the Burlington detachment to reports of a man walking along the shoulder of the westbound lanes of the QEW at the Guelph Line. A number of motorists had also seen Mr. Payettte, who appeared confused, running across the highway.

At approximately 7:29 p.m., the officer arrived in a fully marked cruiser and pulled over onto the south shoulder of the QEW lanes, about twenty feet behind Mr. Payette. The police communications recordings show that at 7:30 p.m., the officer reported the man was trying to run into traffic and requested assistance. The officer exited his cruiser and about 25 seconds later, the officer transmitted that the pedestrian had been hit. Mr. Payette had run across the highway and was struck and killed by a van.

Director Cornish stated, "It was only seconds after the officer arrived at the scene, and indeed before he even had a chance to converse with Mr. Payette, let alone touch him, that Mr. Payette bolted across the busy highway and was struck by an unsuspecting motorist."

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