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SIU investigation into Langlois death (continued)

service for ambulances, often when another police officer is the ambulance patient. This kind of support takes the form of blocking intersections or clearing rights of way with a police vehicle to ensure the ambulance has minimal traffic disruptions en route to the hospital. Such was the case this past Oct. 19 when a Windsor police officer “traveling significantly in excess” of the posted 50 k/hr speed limit along Wyandotte St. E. smashed into a civilian vehicle on Langlois Ave. that was crossing Wyandotte, killing the vehicle's civilian passenger. The provincial Special Investigations Unit concluded the officer driving the cruiser was not criminally liable. But the family of Nancy Theoret, the passenger who died, is not satisfied. Whether the officer was in the right or wrong the family wants an apology from the police. Interestingly SIU director Ian Scott reportedly commented that the driver of the civilian vehicle was not following traffic rules, calling her actions “inappropriate” by failing to look and see the oncoming cruiser. Nor did the SIU, in the official media release, indicate that the police officer was responding – “to a Priority No.1 call, which is the highest level of call” - to an ambulance carrying a fellow police officer who had suffered a heart attack. Windsor police, abiding by SIU requirements, will now conduct their own review. The report will go to the city’s Police Services Board, which has two elected officials and three members of the public sitting on it. The investigation should consider the appropriateness of police vehicles operating at high speed especially along congested thoroughfares such as Wyandotte St. Moreover it should review the entire use of police vehicles to provide support for ambulances and whether a double standard exists when the ambulance patient is a police officer rather than a member of the general public. Dec 14, 2009

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