Ontario's police watchdog has determined there are no grounds for criminal charges against an officer who was involved in a police chase earlier this year that ended with a suspect's vehicle striking an SUV, killing a mother and her three young daughters.
That suspect, 20-year-old Brady Robertson has been denied bail while he awaits trial. He is charged with four counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and four counts of impaired driving.
The Special Investigations Unit released its findings Wednesday — four months after the crash in Brampton, Ont. that left 37-year-old Karolina Ciasullo and her children Klara, 6, Liliana, 4, and Mila, 1, dead.
Ciasullo, 37, from Caledon, was a Grade 4 teacher at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Elementary School in Brampton.
The SIU's investigation found that on June 18, an officer with Peel Regional Police spotted a blue Infiniti speeding east on Countryside Drive shortly before noon with no plates on it. The officer made a U-turn and activated his cruiser's lights, the SIU said, but the suspect sped away before blowing a light at Torbram Road and colliding with multiple vehicles
"There is, in my view, very little of which to be critical in the conduct of the [police officer]. He did what one would expect of an officer in a marked cruiser patrolling the roadways who comes across a vehicle without a front licence plate; he intervened with the intention of investigating its driver for a potential traffic offence," said SIU Director Joseph Martino in the report.
"As far as can be discerned, the [officer] did so in a manner that was generally safe and prudent."
The SIU said the officer gave pursuit at 105 km/h at one point in a 70 km/h-zone, but the suspect was going 152 km/h in the moments before the fatal crash.
The Volkswagen Atlas SUV carrying the Ciasullo family was sent careening into a light pole after the collision.
Six-year-old Klara was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders. Ciasullo, Liliana and Mila were all transported to hospital, where they later died of their injuries.
Robertson was seriously injured in the crash as well.
The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates reports of death, serious injury or alleged sexual assault involving police.