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Wrong-way 401 crash: 2 officers involved not speaking, police watchdog says

Click to play video: '‘Someone’s going to get hurt’: Police recordings offer new insight into wrong-way chase on Ontario’s Highway 401'
‘Someone’s going to get hurt’: Police recordings offer new insight into wrong-way chase on Ontario’s Highway 401
WATCH ABOVE: 'Someone's going to get hurt': Police recordings offer new insight into wrong-way chase on Ontario's Highway 401 – May 2, 2024

Two police officers involved in a wrong-way fatal pursuit on Highway 401 this spring have not agreed to be interviewed by Ontario’s police watchdog.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) provided an update Wednesday on their investigation into the April 29 crash in Whitby that killed four, including an infant and their grandparents.

Two other people were seriously injured.

The SIU said two officers have been designated as subject officials in their investigation.

“At this time, neither has submitted to an interview or provided their duty notes, as is their legal right,” the SIU said.

Nineteen witness officials were designated and interviews with them are ongoing, the SIU said.

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There have been 36 civilian witnesses identified and interviewed.

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The SIU said it has more than 100 videos as part of its investigation, which have been obtained from in-car cameras, body cams, civilian recordings, Ministry of Transportation footage and drone footage.

A 60-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman, who were visiting from India, and their three-month-old grandson died in the crash that involved a van being chased by police while going the wrong way on Highway 401.

The baby’s parents, who live in Ajax, Ont., survived.

The SIU has said Durham police were chasing a cargo van that had been identified as a vehicle of interest in an alleged liquor store robbery in Clarington, Ont., with the pursuit shifting to Highway 401.

The driver of the van, who was also killed in the crash, was identified as a 21-year-old man, while a 38-year-old male passenger suffered serious injuries. He remains in hospital.

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The other person who was seriously injured — a 27-year-old woman — was released from hospital.

The incident prompted questions about the decision to pursue the van in the wrong direction on the highway.

After the crash, police and emergency dispatchers in Durham were instructed to take a course on pursuits within two months.

The SIU is continuing to investigate, with seven investigators, two forensic investigators and one collision reconstructionist looking into the case.

Anyone with information on the incident was asked to contact the SIU.

The SIU is an independent agency that investigates incidents involving police that have resulted in death, serious injury or alleged sexual assault.

By law, the SIU must complete its investigation within 120 days of the incident.

— With files from The Canadian Press

Click to play video: 'Former Toronto cop weighs in on Highway 401 crash, police policy around chases'
Former Toronto cop weighs in on Highway 401 crash, police policy around chases

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