file photo

The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Tony Loparco, has terminated an investigation into an incident where a 57-year-old man drove his vehicle into Lake Erie on June 23, 2017. The man’s body was recovered from the lake the following day.

A preliminary investigation found the following:

• In the afternoon hours of Friday, June 23, 2017, an Ontario Provincial Police officer with the Elgin County detachment began following a vehicle of interest that was being operated on Springfield Road.
• When the driver of the vehicle tossed an item from the vehicle, the police officer stopped to retrieve it.
• Meanwhile, the vehicle continued southbound on Springfield Road at a high rate of speed. The vehicle sped past a turnaround, drove into a field and drove off of a cliff and into Lake Erie.
• The police officer that had been following the vehicle appeared at the turnaround several minutes later, and was directed to where the vehicle had gone.
• The man’s body was recovered from the lake the following day.

Director Tony Loparco said, “The man died as a result of injuries consistent with a collision and drowning. Based on the investigation, it is clear that the man drove his vehicle at a high rate of speed across a field and unhesitatingly drove it off the cliff into Lake Erie. The police officer was nowhere near the vehicle when it plunged into the lake. This investigation has been terminated as there is no evidence that the police officer was responsible for the man’s death.”