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.