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1 dead after 2-vehicle crash on New Year’s Eve in Markham, man arrested for impaired driving

Two vehicles are seen in a field off of Ninth Line.
Two vehicles are seen in a field off of Ninth Line. Nick Westoll / Global News

York Regional Police (YRP) say a 40-year-old man has been arrested for impaired driving after a two-vehicle crash in Markham on New Year’s Eve that left a person dead.

Const. Laura Nicolle told Global News that emergency crews received several calls from residents at around 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday reporting a collision Ninth Line, south of Elgin Mills Road East.

“One male was sadly deceased at the scene and a second male involved in the collision was arrested for impaired driving,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘L’Hotel de York Regional Police’ introduces parody video to warn of impaired driving

Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), issued a statement Wednesday morning to say its staff would be investigating after the suspect drove by a YRP officer on Major Mackenzie Drive East.

The statement said the officer began following the vehicle, a Hyundai Veloster, until it crashed into a Toyota Corolla being driven by a 68-year-old man. The SIU said the suspect wasn’t seriously injured.

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York Regional Police Const. Laura Nicolle speaks with Global News about 2019 impaired driving statistics
York Regional Police Const. Laura Nicolle speaks with Global News about 2019 impaired driving statistics

News of the crash comes amid high-profile efforts by YRP against impaired driving.

“Our officers have been out in very high numbers obviously doing RIDE spot checks and trying to get impaired drivers off the road … this is exactly the type of tragedy we don’t want to see,” Nicolle said late Tuesday.

“Unfortunately we’re going to have to be delivering some very sad news to a family and this is just one of those types of tragedies that completely devastates everyone involved — including the community as a whole.

READ MORE: York police release 911 call, video of impaired driver arrest that led to conviction

“If you see a vehicle that you think could be potentially impaired, call 911. It’s considered an emergency and we will respond very quickly.”

As of Dec. 31, Nicolle said more than 1,700 impaired driving-related charges were laid by YRP.

Meanwhile, anyone in the area of the crash with dash-cam video or surveillance video was asked to call police or Crime Stoppers anonymously.