Ontario's police watchdog is investigating after a police chase in Toronto's downtown core ended in a collision that sent eight people to hospital overnight.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said Toronto police officers were pursuing an Acura in the city's financial district when it hit a Chevrolet Malibu operating as an UberX vehicle near Wellington and Bay streets early Sunday morning.
"Some time before 3 a.m., in the area of York Street and Bremner Boulevard, Toronto police attempted to stop a vehicle. That vehicle fled," SIU spokesman Jason Gennaro told reporters Sunday afternoon during a news conference from the scene.
"The vehicle then, travelling northbound on Bay Street, struck a second vehicle here on Wellington."
Gennaro added the Chevrolet was travelling westbound when it was hit by the Acura.
The SIU later described the occupants of both vehicles. In the fleeing Acura were:
- Two 16-year-old males, one of which was the driver.
- Two 17-year-old females.
- One 15-year-old male.
The occupants of the Chevrolet were:
- One 39-year-old male, who was driving.
- One 38-year-old male.
- One 32-year-old female.
- One 27-year-old female.
At least one person has been arrested, the SIU confirmed, though it's not clear if charges have been laid.
Eight people are in hospital, three are seriously injured including one person in life-threatening condition, officials said.
No pedestrians or police officers were involved in the crash, according to the SIU, an arm's length agency called in any time there is a death, serious injury or allegation of sexual assault involving police.
Police were originally reporting multiple people trapped in a vehicle.
Bay Street is closed between King and Front streets and Wellington is closed from Yonge Street to Bay, as the investigation continues.
Uber responded to the incident with the following statement:
"Our thoughts are with those injured in this morning's accident. We are currently working to gather information and stand ready to assist law enforcement in their investigation in any way that we can."
Eight investigators, two forensic investigators and one traffic reconstructionist have been assigned to investigate, the SIU said.
Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the SIU at 1-800-787-8529.
SIU spokesperson says 1 person arrested in crash that sent 8 to hospital. At least 3 people were seriously injured. pic.twitter.com/M5BDP1aRPJ— @MakdaGCBC
Update: Wellington remains clsd frm Yonge to Bay. Bay remains clsd frm King to Front. On-going investigation. Pls use alternate routes.^adc— @TPSOperations