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SIU closes file on St. Catharines crash that sent two people to hospital

The SIU has closed a case involving a confrontation inside a Norfolk County OPP station.
The SIU has closed a case involving a confrontation inside a Norfolk County OPP station. Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has cleared a Niagara police officer in connection to a March 2019 crash in St Catharines where two men in their 20s were injured.

The driver of the car was evading a speed trap and the police officer was well “within her rights” in attempting to stop the BMW clocking 30 km/hr over the speed limit on Highway 406, said SIU interim director Joseph Martino.

According to Martino’s version of the incident – back up by forensics and a communications recording evidence – the driver of the BMW blew by a speed trap at 3:05 a.m. in the area of the QEW and Seventh Street South.

READ MORE: SIU investigating St. Catharines crash that sent two people to hospital

The police officer – having clocked the BMW going 134 km/hr – followed onto the highway and accelerated eastbound. During the chase, the BMW reached a top speed of 174 km/hr before exiting on the off-ramp to Highway 406.

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The BMW driver appeared to begin pulling over by changing lanes when the police officer turned on her emergency lights, according to Martino. However, he didn’t and increased his speed heading south on Highway 406.

The officer eventually stopped following the driver and radioed in the incident.

Not long after, the police officer was called to a crash at Fourth Avenue and Highway 406, where she discovered the BMW she was following smashed against a retaining wall across from an off-ramp.

READ MORE: Officer cleared after injury reported during drug bust in St. Catharines: SIU

Both men were extricated by firefighters and paramedics and taken to hospital with the driver eventually transported to Hamilton General Hospital via air ambulance.

Martino said the incident covered about four kilometres and ended in a matter of minutes.

The SIU has closed the case.