MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The Special Investigations Unit says a provincial police officer won't be facing charges arising from an incident in which a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle the officer was pursuing.
The police watchdog agency says the OPP and city police had set up a RIDE spot check in Guelph, Ont., early on Dec. 13, 2015, and the officer pursued an SUV that accelerated through the spot check.
The SIU says that the driver of the SUV — estimated to be travelling in excess of 115 km/h — lost control at a five-way intersection, mounted the sidewalk, struck a utility pole, flipped onto its roof and slid along the sidewalk and roadway.
The SUV struck 24-year-old Grace Glofcheskie, who had been walking on the sidewalk, and she died of her injuries in hospital.
The SIU — an arm's length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault — says the majority of the pursuit occurred in a largely commercial area devoid of foot traffic and the police officer was slowing down and backing off the pursuit before reaching the intersection.
SIU director Tony Loparco says the evidence doesn't supply reasonable grounds to believe that the officer is criminally culpable for Glofcheskie's tragic death, and no charges will be laid.
"The subject officer's driving was objectively dangerous," Loparco said Thursday in a release. "He was travelling at speeds in excess of 68 km over the speed limit, in a commercial-residential area."
However, the pursuit — which lasted approximately 40 seconds over a distance of 1.2 kilometres — occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. when the four-lane road was almost empty, he said.
A Guelph police officer who saw the pursuit and followed behind noted that the man did not slow down as he reached the five-way intersection, but that the OPP officer did, Loparco said.
The Canadian Press