Police watchdog investigating after crash sends 2 to hospital

Two men were seriously injured in a crash on the Vanier Parkway Wednesday afternoon, not long after Ottawa police began investigating their vehicle.

Pair of men, both in their 20s, injured in Vanier Parkway collision

Ottawa police officers convene at the scene of a crash on the Vanier Parkway on June 12, 2019. (Michel Aspirot/CBC)

Ontario's police watchdog has invoked its mandate after two men were seriously injured in a crash on the Vanier Parkway in Ottawa Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), officers with the Ottawa Police Service began investigating a vehicle near Cyrville Road and St. Laurent Boulevard at around 2 p.m.

About 20 minutes later, the vehicle was heading north on the parkway when it crashed near Beechwood Avenue.

The 24-year-old driver and his 23-year-old passenger were injured, the SIU said.

The Ottawa Paramedic Service said in a tweet that the men had to be extricated by firefighters and were taken to hospital in serious condition with multiple injuries.

The SIU investigates cases involving police where there has been a death, a serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon said part of the agency's investigation would look into whether there was an active police pursuit at the time of the crash.

There were lane closures on the Vanier Parkway until about 1 a.m. Thursday.