OPP settle on death ride

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The pursuit was a success, but the patient died.
Photo: Thornton

The Ontario Provincial Police have settled a court claim laid against them by the family of a southern Ontario man who died in a motorcycle collision following a police chase.

The OPP said their officers acted prudently and according to policy, but still settled with the family of 29-year-old Jason Lacombe, who died early in the morning of July 19, 2007. He had left a party on his motorcycle and been seen by police, who turned on their roof lights and tried to pull him over, allegedly because they suspected that he had been drinking.

Lacombe did not stop, and after a short pursuit, the police car’s flashing lights were turned off and the chase was abandoned.

Lacombe was found in a ditch a kilometre north of Highway 401 by the same officers, who tried to save him. He died in the hospital.

His family sued the OPP for $750,000 plus costs. Although a Special Investigations Unit officer said there was "no evidence that the officer interfered with the operation of the motorcycle," and the rider’s death "cannot be attributed to any action" taken by police, the OPP settled for an unstated amount of money.

The OPP had been called earlier to the party that Lacombe had been attending, with a noise complaint. There was an assertion that the officers had essentially staked out the house for several hours afterward, then followed Lacombe when he left.

See the Standard-Freeholder newspaper website for more.

1 COMMENT

  1. Sometimes it isn’t about justice but expedience. Honestly, running from the cops is always the wrong move. Tragic he died but that was his call.

  2. Organizations like the OPP and municipalities will often settle a case because court costs will far exceed the cost of settling.

  3. just because they have trned off the loghts does not mean the rider was not still trying to escape
    it was his fault but there may be other circumstances of which we are not aware or they would not have settled out of court
    that said If I was a member of those who sued I would be very very careful of what i did for the next little while

  4. I’m certainly no fan of the OPP and generally think we could get rid of half of them but in this case I don’t see how they can share any blame at all.

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