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No Charges Warranted in Two Pursuit Cases
The province’s Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) today released reports in relation to two vehicle pursuits, one conducted by the RCMP and one by the Halifax Regional Police (HRP).
On Saturday, May 3, shortly after noon, a member of the Lower Sackville RCMP attempted to stop a speeding motor vehicle travelling north on Cobequid Road in Lower Sackville. As the vehicle being pursued ran a red light at the intersection with Glendale Avenue it swerved to miss one car and then struck another vehicle stopped on the other side of the intersection. A male front seat passenger in that car suffered a broken arm and other injuries.
The investigation demonstrated that the speed of the RCMP vehicle reached 118 km/h during the pursuit, without gaining ground on the pursued vehicle. Given the speed, and other conditions, the officer’s actions were carefully reviewed. However, the pursuit lasted only 17 seconds. As well, the officer indicated he continued with his lights and siren to warn other drivers as the pursued vehicle approached the intersection where the accident occurred. As a result the driver of a car entering that intersection from Glendale was alerted to the oncoming pursued vehicle and stopped, avoiding a serious “t-bone” collision. In the circumstances, it was determined there were no grounds to consider charges against the officer.
The other matter arose shortly after 2 a.m. on May 23, 2014 when an HRP Officer commenced a pursuit of a speeding vehicle on Dunbrack Street in Halifax. A short time later, after the officer ended the pursuit, the target vehicle, driven by a 14-year-old male, continued on and crashed at the intersection of Wentworth Drive and Dunbrack. Police discovered the crash a few minutes later, and with the assistance of a police service dog located the occupants of the vehicle. One, a 17-year-old male passenger, was taken to hospital where it was confirmed he had suffered a fractured pelvis.
During the pursuit, which lasted about one and one half minutes, the Officer’s speed averaged approximately 120 km/h. However, there was no traffic, the roadway was well lit, and road conditions were good. A passenger in the pursued vehicle noted that even after the officer discontinued the pursuit the driver of the pursued vehicle continued to drive faster. In the circumstances it was determined there were no grounds to consider charges in the matter.
The full reports are 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.
Ronald MacDonald, QC
Serious Incident Response Team