SIU clears Durham officer in stolen car pursuit in Whitby that injured three

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Published July 6, 2021 at 1:51 pm

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The SIU has cleared a Durham Police officer of any wrongdoing in a fiery crash from March involving a stolen police car that left a 69 year-old woman with a broken pelvis and her 12 year-old grandson with a fractured leg.

The 31-year-old suspect, who had to be pulled from the stolen police car after it burst into flames, suffered internal injuries.

The officer under investigation was driving the lead pursuit car as police chased the stolen car through the streets of Whitby.

On March 7, just after 10 p.m., police responded to Valiant Storage Units on Victoria Street in Whitby for a report of a suspicious person. While the officers were investigating, the suspect stole a police vehicle and officers gave chase.

The accident occurred a short time later when the suspect, who was travelling at a “very high rate of speed” ran a red light at Dundas Street and Garden Street and T-boned the victim’s car, which was headed south on Garden.

The suspect’s car exploded in flames, with shotgun shells going off from a loaded police shotgun inside, right across the street from a gas station.

The “smouldering” engine from the stolen car, in fact, “flew into the gas station” and ended up striking one of the pumps.

The SIU investigation concluded that there are “no reasonable grounds” to believe that the lead officer in pursuit committed a criminal offence in connection with the collision.

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