London police have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the province’s police watchdog in connection with a crash last spring that resulted in a suspect suffering a lacerated liver.
According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), a 911 caller reported that a woman was carjacked at Masonville Place at roughly 7:13 p.m. on June 2, 2018 by a suspect who allegedly assaulted her and threatened to slash her with a knife before taking off in her green Subaru.
Police responded and pursued the vehicle in the area of Adelaide Street and Fanshawe Park Road. According to the SIU, the suspect drove into the roundabout at A.B. Lucas Secondary School, and two police vehicles were positioned to partially block the roadway, but the suspect drove around them onto Barrymont Avenue and then Clermont Avenue.
The SIU says the roads were dry, visibility was good and traffic was light in the area at the time. The suspect vehicle began to fishtail as it turned southbound onto North Vernon Avenue, where it mounted the west curb, crossed the sidewalk and then crashed into a tree on the front lawn of a residence, according to the police watchdog.
The SIU says “a number of witnesses” said the police vehicles were one to two car lengths behind the Subaru during the pursuit and that no police vehicle ever made contact with the vehicle. Witnesses also reportedly said the Subaru was speeding, failed to stop for a stop sign and made a wide left turn onto North Vernon Avenue before it slammed into the tree.
The suspect fled on foot but was quickly arrested and taken to hospital, where the 18-year-old man was treated for a seven-centimetre laceration to his liver and a partially collapsed lung, the SIU says.
Following the investigation, the SIU has found that the officers’ actions did not cause or contribute to the collision.