Ajax man charged after hit-and-run car crash and chase through Bracebridge ends in swamp


Published November 14, 2022 at 5:21 pm

A man from Ajax has been arrested in Bracebridge following a hit-and-run crash and chase through town that ended with crashing into a swamp.

Around 1 p.m. on November 11, an OPP officer was patrolling Wellington St. in the town. Bracebridge sits about two hours north of Ajax just to the East of Lake Muskoka.

The officer spotted a car “contravening” the Traffic Act. The OPP did not specify how exactly the car was in violation of the law. When the officer moved to pull the car over, it took off down Wellington St. The driver then turned onto Monck Rd and finally onto Manitoba St.

When the car reached the intersection of Manitoba St. and Taylor Rd, about a kilometre from where it started, it went through the intersection on a red light. The car struck another vehicle, but did not remain at the scene, police say.

Instead, he continued south and blew through a stop sign on Entrance Dr. He was next spotted by other motorists about three kilometres away, driving dangerously on Ecclestone Dr. The driver led officers from there onto Hwy 11 S, another three kilometres south.

Officers tried to slow traffic on the highway in order to slow down the driver. However, the car swerved onto the shoulder and drove around the other cars. The car passed officers “at a high rate of speed.”

The car continued south, but out of fear for public safety the officers did not pursue it further.

Shortly thereafter, the car was spotted again about 15 kilometres from where it had started near the Bethune Dr. off-ramp from Hwy 11 near Gravenhurst.

It had tried to get off the highway, but lost control on the off-ramp. The car ended up crashing into a swamp of the side of the road. Police arrived just in time to find the two occupants of the car climbing out of the swamp.

Dijon Stewart, 19 of Ajax, was arrested and charged with dangerous driving, failure to stop after a crash and 11 other Traffic Act offences. Stewart was released and will appear in a Bracebridge courtroom on December 20. The passenger of the car was released without charge or conditions.

Anyone with information or video of the chase can call the Bracebridge OPP at 1-888-310-1122, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.



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