Charges against Brantford police officer Ryan Grant will be upgraded to impaired driving causing death, after 27-year-old Joey Flaherty, a passenger who fell out of Grant's Jeep in early Monday morning incident, has died in hospital.
Hamilton Police made the announcement Wednesday morning, confirming the charges of impaired operation causing bodily harm and impaired operation over 80 mgs would be upgraded. Flaherty was 2014 first passenger fataity.
Brantford Police announced earlier the officer was off-duty at the time, and has been suspended with pay and may be looking at possible Police Act charges as well as criminal charges. In Ontario, police services are mandated to suspended officers with pay during an ongoing investigation.
Police and ambulance crews were called to Emerson Avenue near McMaster University around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning, and found a 27-year-old Dundas man with serious head injuries lying in the roadway.
He and the driver – a 33-year-old Dundas resident – had been driving in a white Jeep with the doors taken off. “It does not look like he was wearing a seatbelt,” said police Const. Claus Wagner. No collision had taken place, he added.
After the passenger fell out, the driver of the jeep circled back to where the passenger was lying and waited for police to arrive, Wagner says. Crews arrived and rushed the man to hospital.
In a written statement Tuesday, Brantford police said they can't share specific details of the incident as criminal charges have been laid and Hamilton police are investigating. On top of the criminal charges, Acting Police Chief Dave Wiedrick has launched an internal investigation to determine if the officer should face discipline charges under the Police Services Act.
Several roads in the area were closed for the investigation, but have since reopened.
The police collision reconstruction unit is investigating and asks anyone with information to call 905-546-4755.