The Quebec Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) has cleared several Laval Police Dept. officers of criminal responsibility in a car crash along Cartier Blvd. in October last year, when a female passenger in one of the vehicles was seriously injured.
The DPCP says in a statement issued earlier this week that a report by the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), a provincial agency that investigates incidents involving the police, concluded the LPD officers didn’t commit any criminal infractions while carrying out their duties.
At around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday Oct. 20 in 2021, officers from the LPD believed they had located a vehicle that had been reported stolen from a parking lot on Curé-Labelle Blvd. during the previous evening.
When the officers tried to stop the vehicle, the driver refused. Following a brief chase that lasted less than a minute, the driver of the car reportedly lost control and struck at least one parked vehicle followed by a lamppost.
An 18-year-old female passenger was seriously injured in the collision, according to the investigators. The injured woman was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to a detailed account of the incident by the BEI, the officers had initially managed to stop the suspect vehicle, although the vehicle’s driver then decided to drive off at full-speed, forcing the officers into a pursuit.
The officers contacted their supervisor to obtain permission to engage the fleeing vehicle in a high-speed chase and were told to proceed – at speeds sometimes exceeding 150 km/h (more than 93 mph) on city streets.
At one point, the BEI says, the driver of the fleeing car drove in the left-side lane against oncoming traffic, burning through a red traffic light, while being followed the whole time from around 150 metres behind by the police.
Around 30 seconds into the chase, at a speed estimated at 155 km/h, the fleeing car hit the sidewalk, went out of control and struck a parked vehicle.
This sent the suspect car into a spin, after which it went bounding across the street, struck a street lamp, then finally came to a stop in badly damaged condition.
The BEI’s report noted that the driver of the fleeing vehicle has since then received an unspecified sentence in Quebec Youth Court for several infractions related to the incident.