Officers have been cleared in the death of a 26-year-old woman who was struck by the driver of a suspect vehicle attempting to flee police in Mississauga in August.
The pursuit began after an officer with Peel Regional Police observed a Mazda stopped in a live lane of traffic just south of Airport and Morning Star roads just after 3 a.m. on Aug. 23, according to a report released by the director of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Joseph Martino Thursday.
The vehicle was stopped just south of the traffic light, which was red at the time. As the officer approached, the light turned green and the car remained stationary, causing the officer to believe the driver was impaired and asleep at the wheel, it said.
The driver then reportedly failed to provide his driver’s license and gave the officer a false name. By this time, additional officers had approached the vehicle, one of which “thought he noticed marijuana” in the glovebox of the car, the report states.
When the driver reached to open the compartment, he accelerated the vehicle in an attempt to flee the officers.
Three police vehicles followed the suspect for a short distance before being commanded to call off the pursuit.
Police found the Mazda, damaged on its passenger side and abandoned on Goreway Drive, at approximately 4:15 a.m. Martino said that after accelerating away from police cruisers and the pursuit was cut, the vehicle struck a cyclist.
Traffic cameras at Morning Star Drive and Airport Road captured a northbound vehicle “with sparks coming from the rear” travelling at a high rate of speed. The footage showed an unknown object soaring in the air from the vehicle and landing on the sidewalk, Martino wrote.
The vehicle was captured continuing northbound, out of view of the camera.
This blue Mazda 3 seen in this photo was the vehicle used by the hit-and-run driver. (Peel Regional Police)
Just after 4:30 a.m., pedestrians in the area of Morning Star Drive and Airport Road found the body of a woman on the side of the road.
Martino found no grounds to lay criminal charges on any of the involved officers.
“The subject officer was engaged in the lawful execution of his duties when he stopped to investigate … and then initiated a pursuit as the Mazda fled the scene,” he wrote, adding that “none of the officers involved in the pursuit had seen the Mazda’s collision with the cyclist given the lighting conditions and their distance.”
In September, police announced they had apprehended the alleged driver, Traishaun Delpeache.
He was charged with dangerous operation causing death, failure to stop after an accident causing death, flight from a peace officer, and driving a motor vehicle with an improper licence.
Delpeache appeared in court for a bail hearing and was remanded into custody until Sept. 15. At the time of the collision, Delpeache was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for a parole violation.
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