York Regional Police say one of its officers has been charged with impaired driving-related offences after a serious hit-and-run crash in Markham on Sunday.
Police said in a statement that emergency crews were called to Highway 7 near York Durham Line after 7:15 p.m. with reports of a collision.
“When officers arrived they located a motorcycle that had been struck and the driver was taken to hospital with serious injuries,” the statement said.
“Officers learned that a Nissan Pathfinder had collided with the motorcycle and then fled the scene.”
Police said officers found the vehicle involved and arrested the suspect.
Const. Nathan Coates, a 14-year officer assigned to uniform patrol in Whitchurch-Stouffville, was charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm, having more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, failure to stop at the scene of a collision, and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
Coates was suspended with pay, as is required under Ontario’s Police Services Act, from his duties and the matter was forwarded to the professional standards bureau for “further investigation. He is scheduled to appear in a Newmarket court on Oct. 24.
Chief Eric Jolliffe called the incident “extremely disheartening” in Monday’s statement, saying it doesn’t “reflect the values of our organization.”
“As law enforcement professionals, we are in a position of trust and we are rightfully held to a higher standard by members of our community,” he wrote.
“Every day, our members are committed to keeping our community safe, especially when it comes to impaired driving. For those members who do not uphold our values and make the unforgivable decision to drive while impaired, they will be held accountable for their actions without exception.”
The charges come amid York Regional Police’s ongoing, high profile focus on impaired driving incidents. The service frequently creates campaigns targeting the behaviour as well as releasing videos of drivers being arrested for allegedly driving while drunk.