News / Ottawa

Ottawa Police cleared by SIU for role in fatal 2016 car crash

Two people died from injuries after a man fleeing police struck another car on the Vanier Parkway a year ago.

File photo of police tape.

Metro file

File photo of police tape.

The Ontario Special Investigations Unit has decided no charges will be laid in an April 2016 incident where two people died after a Ottawa Police car chase.

Alex Cross, 24, was killed  when a driver who was fleeing from police hit him head on on April 12, 2016.

In the early morning, police were attempting to arrest the 39-year-old driver of a Pontiac G6 in the Byward Market. The man tried to flee police in his car.

According to the SIU investigation, two police cruises initiated chase as the Pontiac driver sped up, ignoring red lights and travelling down Rideau Street. Less than a minute later the chase police called off the chase.  

The driver of the Pontiac continued to flee, heading east out of downtown and ignoring a red light on McArthur Avenue and the Vanier Parkway. The driver collided with Cross’s Honda Accord while making an illegal left-hand turn.

Both Cross and the 37-year-old man fleeing police died.

A 21-year-old woman travelling in the car with Cross sustained serious injuries.

The Ottawa Police officers who initiated the chase were found not responsible for the deaths because the chase was called off so quickly, said SIU director Tony Loparco.

“There is no basis whatsoever to hold either of the two subject officers responsible for the terrible outcomes of the motor vehicle collision,” he said in a statement released Wednesday.

“As a result of the prudent decision of the road sergeant, the two subject officers cannot be said to have causally contributed to the collision in a legal sense. Consequently, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed, and no charges will issue.”  

The SIU is a watchdog agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been a death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

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