Sarnia police cleared in fatal Russell Street crash

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

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a Sarnia police officer committed a criminal offence in connection to a crash that killed a 40-year-old man.

The SIU assigned four investigators, two forensic investigators and a collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances surrounding the incident.

At around 4 a.m. February 10, an officer tried to stop a northbound vehicle on Russell Street that was travelling in excess of 130 km/h.

The vehicle fled the scene, and collided with a fence line on the west side of Russell Street North at Hanna Memorial Public School. The SIU said a piece of metal railing at the top of the fence penetrated into the vehicle’s interior and perforated the man’s body, resulting in his death.

Director Joseph Martino said that based on a review of GPS data, a forensic reconstruction of the collision, and video recordings from security cameras that captured the incident in parts, “there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer comported himself other than within the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law”.

The full report can be found here.

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.