UPDATE: SIU takes over fatal crash investigation

Sarnia police investigate fatal crash Feb 10, 2021 on Russell Street. Submitted by Hilary Ryan.

Ontario’s police watchdog has taken over the scene of a fatal car crash early Wednesday morning in central Sarnia.

City police said just after 4 a.m., an officer on general patrol spotted a vehicle travelling north on Russell Street that had committed a traffic offence.

Police allege the suspect vehicle drove past the officer in an attempt to evade police.

A short time later, police said the vehicle collided with a fence line on the west side of Russell Street North at Hanna Memorial Public School. The driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation continues and Russell Street between George Street and Maria Street was expected to remain closed to traffic throughout the day.

The school was closed with students learning remotely Wednesday. In a tweet Wednesday afternoon Lambton Kent District School Board Director John Howitt confirmed Hanna Memorial will reopen for in-class learning Thursday.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said four investigators, two forensic investigators and one collision reconstructionist have been assigned to the case. And one subject officer and seven witness officers had been designated. A post-mortem is scheduled for Friday in Toronto.

Anyone who may have information about the investigation is asked to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529, and any video evidence related to the incident can be uploaded through the SIU website.

The SIU is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving police officers where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.