Motorcyclist loses arm and leg after fleeing Bowmanville traffic stop, officer cleared of wrongdoing


Published June 19, 2023 at 5:18 pm

The scene of the crashed motorcycle - via the SIU.

A Durham Regional Police officer has been cleared of wrongdoing after a motorcyclist crashed while fleeing a traffic stop in Bowmanville which resulted in the loss of his arm and his leg.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m. the officer was driving into Bowmanville on Hwy. 2 when he spotted a motorcycle racing a car down the road. The motorcycle was travelling at roughly 100km/h in a 50 km/h zone. The officer caught up to the bike and scanned the license plate

The scan came back saying the motorcyclist did not have a valid license and the officer decided to pull the man over. As the officer flicked on his cruiser lights, the motorcyclist sped off.

The officer followed the bike for about four kilometres. He lost sight of the bike near Sandringham Rd. and slowed down. After driving about a minute down the road the officer came across the motorcycle now crashed on the sidewalk near Hwy. 418. The motorcyclist was severely injured. His arm had been severed and his leg shattered. It later had to be amputated.

The officer called into dispatch, “Motorcycle had taken off from me. He’s ditched it. Need an ambulance, 418 and Highway 2.” He repeated a need to rush to the ambulance as he began first aid, applying three tourniquets.

Ambulances and firefighters arrived minutes after the crash and took the motorcyclist to Sunnybrook Hospital.

Since the man had been injured after a police interaction, the Special Investigation Unit was called in to investigate the crash. Based on the collected evidence, including interviews with the officer and the motorcyclist, SIU Director Joseph Martino concluded the officer has not erred.

Martino said the only possible charge for the officer would be dangerous driving, but found “there is also no indication of the officer’s speed having manifestly placed other motorists in harm’s way.” He additionally noted the officer was “prudent” to slow down instead of chasing the motorcyclist.


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