The police investigation into the 2005 car crash that killed Crystal Taman was "a colossal failure of justice," the public inquiry commission's lawyer said in his closing remarks Tuesday.

The 40-year-old mother of three died when her car was rear-ended by off-duty Winnipeg policeman Derek Harvey-Zenk, who had been partying the night before. He received two years of house arrest for dangerous driving causing death.

But the investigation into the crash was botched from the beginning, David Paciocco told the inquiry Tuesday.

He criticized both the East St. Paul police department and the Winnipeg Police Service for the way they handled the criminal investigation.

He called the East St. Paul department dysfunctional and disorganized, saying it neglected the basics of police investigation.

He said interviews conducted with Harvey-Zenk's police colleagues, who had been partying with him that night, were not done properly.

As for the testimony of Harry Bakema, who was then chief of the East St. Paul police department, Paciocco said it was contradictory and lacked credibility.

He said the former police chief altered his notes, suppressed evidence and revised history.

The inquiry, headed by former Ontario judge Roger Salhany, is hearing final submissions this week. It is expected to release its final report by the end of September.