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Investigation Finds No Grounds for Charges in Amherst Pursuit
The province's independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) today released its report regarding the pursuit of a vehicle by an Amherst Police Officer on July 8, 2015, that ended when a car driven by a 28 year-old male left the road and flipped many times.
Shortly after 2:30 a.m. the Officer was dealing with the occupants of another vehicle. He observed the car driven by the male speed through a stop sign. As a result, Officer 1 gave pursuit. The car then went up and over a curb, and failed to stop for police.
The pursuit of the vehicle travelled along Station St, then Spring St. and out Willow St. to Willow St. Extension. The car eventually left the road on a turn. When it flipped the male driver was thrown from the car and suffered two seriously broken legs. A male friend, who was a passenger, fled the scene and was not located until the next day. The officer arrived on scene several seconds later and, after locating the injured male, made immediate arrangements for medical attention
Shortly after the accident SiRT was contacted and assumed responsibility for the investigation. In car video and GPS readings from the officer’s police vehicle provided important information. The investigation concluded that the officer drove up to 90 km/h on Spring St, and up to 131 km/h on Willow St. However, given the time of day, the absence of other vehicles and pedestrians, the fact Officer 1 kept the vehicle under very good control, used his lights and siren, and that he exercised sufficient caution when passing through intersections controlled by stop signs, there were no grounds to find that his driving constituted dangerous driving under the Criminal Code or any offences under the Motor Vehicle Act. The cause of the accident was the failure of the male to stop for police and his decision to speed away.
The full report is available at http://sirt.novascotia.ca.
SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald, who is solely responsible for decisions respecting the laying of any charge.
Ron MacDonald, QC