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No criminal charges to be laid after LPS cruiser collides with cyclist in central London, Ont.

The intersection of York Street and William Street in London, Ont. following a collision between a police cruiser and a cyclist on Dec. 7, 2023. (Source: Special Investigations Unit) The intersection of York Street and William Street in London, Ont. following a collision between a police cruiser and a cyclist on Dec. 7, 2023. (Source: Special Investigations Unit)
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No criminal charges will be laid after a cyclist was injured after being struck by a London police cruiser near the city’s core last December, the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said on Friday.

According to the SIU, on Dec. 7, 2023 at approximately 4:30 p.m., an officer with the London Police Service was operating a marked police cruiser on William Street in London and was attempting to make a left-hand turn onto York Street when she collided with a cyclist who was riding his bicycle through a pedestrian crosswalk.

The 54-year-old male cyclist was thrown from his bicycle, and was subsequently tended to by the officer who radioed in the incident.

The cyclist was transported to Victoria Hospital by paramedics where he was diagnosed with a fractured nose and orbital bone. He was later released from hospital.

The officer declined to conduct an interview with the SIU or release her notes, however she did provide a written statement.

 

The SIU's determination

In SIU Director Joseph Martino’s determination, he concluded “there are no reasonable grounds” to believe that the officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the cyclist’s injuries.

Martino did concede that the officer in question was to blame for the collision as the cyclist had the right of way, that the officer failed to yield to the cyclist and did not embark on her turn until it was safe to do so.

“Why she acted as she did is not entirely clear as the officer did not agree an interview with the SIU, as was her legal right,” he said. “It would appear she simply did not see the complainant even though he would have been clearly visible to her at the time.”

However, Martino also noted that the officer’s actions did not constitute a departure from a reasonable standard of care in the situation, and that other than the “ill-advised” left-hand turn, "there is no indication in the evidence of any other dangerous driving behaviour on the part of the SO [subject officer] in the time leading to the collision” as the officer performed the turn at a reasonable speed.

“On this record, it would appear that the conduct in question is the type of isolated lapse of attention that falls short of transgressing the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law,” he said.

As a result of the investigation, Martino said no criminal charges would be filed in this case.

The file is now closed. 

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