No grounds to charge Cape Breton officer in chase, crash that injured 3

Man dead in two-vehicle crash near Cape Breton University

An investigation into a crash involving Cape Breton Regional Police last summer that injured three people has concluded there are no grounds to charge the officer involved, says Nova Scotia's police watchdog.

On June 11, Cape Breton police received a call about a car driving erratically in the parking lot of the Cape Breton County Recreation Centre.

At one point the driver, who appeared to have been drinking, stopped to pick a fight with a group of young people, according to a report released Friday by Nova Scotia's Serious Incident Response Team.

When an officer attempted to stop the car in question, it sped off towards Coxheath on Coxheath Road. The SIRT reports says the officer chased the car for 45 seconds before making the decision to stop the pursuit.

The car ended up crashing, seriously injuring the three young men inside.

It was "reasonable" for the officer to try to stop the vehicle, SIRT concluded.

"The time of the pursuit was short, and it was reasonable to expect the officer would take some time to determine both whether the car would stop and to make the decision to end the pursuit," says the report.

"The cause of the crash was the failure of the driver to stop as required by law and drive at an excessive speed."

SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing.