SIU investigating after fatal crash kills 2 in downtown Hamilton

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Published September 26, 2022 at 11:46 am

The Ontario police watchdog is investigating the circumstances of the crash that killed two men in downtown Hamilton on Sunday night.

The victims were in a car that was struck by a driver fleeing police, becoming the 17th and 18th traffic deaths in Hamilton this year. The Ontario Special Investigations Unit (SIU), mandated to investigate when a person dies or is injured following an interaction with police, announced Monday morning (Sept. 26) that it had opened an investigation.

The crash occurred just before 11 p.m. on Sunday. The SIU says that preliminary information suggests the following sequence of events:

  1. There was an interaction involving a Hamilton Police (HPS) officer and a man driving erratically on John St. near Forest Ave.
  2. The man in the vehicle fled northbound on John St. and struck another driver travelling westbound on Young St.
  3. Two male passengers in the vehicle that was struck died. One man was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other man was pronounced dead at hospital.
  4. The driver of that car was taken to hospital and is being treated for serious injuries.
  5. The driver of the fleeing vehicle was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“Three investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to the case,” the SIU added. “The post-mortem examinations are scheduled for Wednesday.”

Witnesses sought

The inquiry would likely focus on the conduct of the HPS. Considerations in similar cases have included whether the conduct of the officer(s) created a risk to the general public.

Meantime, the SIU is encouraging witnesses who were in the area on Sunday night to come forward. Information such as dashcam video can be provided by contacting the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529 or online at siu.on.ca.

The crash resulted in a span of John Street being closed overnight for investigation. It reopened shortly after 9 a.m. on Monday.

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