Updated — Highway 417 crash: Vehicle pursuit stemmed from sexual assault investigation

The reckless driver who crossed into the westbound lanes of Highway 417 and initiated a fatal six-car crash Sunday afternoon was the subject of a police investigation into a sexual assault complaint.

Before the crash, Ottawa police and Ontario Provincial Police had pursued the car as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged incident at a Kanata hotel, this newspaper has learned.

Police were told that the 36-year-old sexual assault suspect had also threatened suicide.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is now investigating the crash. It has designated one Ottawa police officer as the subject of its investigation while identifying three other “witness officers,” two of them from the OPP.

An independent agency, the SIU investigates police incidents that involve death, serious injuries or allegations of sexual assault to determine if criminal charges are warranted against an officer.


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