SIU investigation clears officer in vehicle death investigation

MISSISSAUGA – Director of the Special Investigations Unit Ian Scott has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an officer of the OPP with a criminal offence in regards to the death of 30-year-old Robert Collins of Milton, who died in a collision in Wellington County in July.

The SIU investigation determined that on July 17 Collins was driving his motorcycle at a high rate of speed southbound on Highway 6 North – also known as Hanlon Parkway – in Wellington County in the early afternoon. He was in the company of two other motorcyclists.

They passed the subject officer who was operating a speed monitoring device from his marked OPP cruiser parked on the side of the road. The officer pursued with the intent of noting the licence plate numbers of the speeding motorcycles, but did not activate his emergency equipment.

The report stated Collins began increasing his speed and pulled ahead of the other two riders. Further down the road, there was an intersection between Hanlon Parkway and County Road 34 with traffic lights.

As Collins approached the intersection, the traffic lights were red and traffic was stopped in the curb and passing lanes. Instead of slowing down, Collins continued to increase his speed and drive his motorcycle between the two lanes of stopped traffic.

The report stated it was clear to all the civilian witnesses that he had no intention of stopping at the intersection. As he approached the red traffic light, a car entered the intersection in an attempt to complete a westbound turn from the northbound lanes with the traffic lights in his favour.

Collins began braking but could not avoid a collision with the passenger side rear fender area of the westbound car. He died shortly thereafter. The distance between where the subject officer was conducting his speed checks and the collision scene was approximately two kilometres.

The SIU assigned five investigators and two forensic investigators to the case. It made a digital photographic record of the scene, collected physical evidence, seized exhibits and searched for closed circuit TV images relevant to the incident. Measurements were taken and a scale drawing of the scene was completed.

SIU Director Scott  concluded, “While the outcome was tragic, there is no suggestion that the subject officer did anything wrong in his attempt to identify Mr. Collins or his motorcycle.”