Laval cop suspended for totalling police car during high-speed chase

Five other cars were damaged when the patrol car hit a patch of black ice during a pursuit.

A Laval police officer has been suspended for 15 days without pay for destroying a patrol car and damaging five other vehicles when he hit black ice while pursuing an alleged pimp at high speeds.

Quebec’s police ethics committee made the recent decision to suspend Félix Gagnon for the Nov. 16, 2019, incident.

You are reading: Laval cop suspended for totalling police car during high-speed chase

Just before 5:30 a.m., Gagnon and his partner responded to a 911 call reporting a potential domestic-violence violence case. The woman who called 911 said her ex-spouse was outside her home and appeared drunk. The man was known to police as an alleged pimp who had a record of being violent.

Gagnon was told the suspect was in a black pickup truck that was travelling back and forth on the street where the woman lived.

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When Gagnon and his partner arrived at the intersection of Laval Blvd. and Trait-Carré St., Gagnon spotted a black pickup truck. It was the only other vehicle travelling near the intersection that early morning.

During his hearing before the ethics committee in March, Gagnon said the driver of the pickup truck spotted his patrol car and accelerated.

The police chase continued on to McNamara St., where Gagnon travelled through eight intersections at speeds reaching 110 kilometres per hour in zones designated at both 50 and 40 km/h.

The committee was told there were no other vehicles in the area at the time and Gagnon saw no pedestrians.

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Gagnon told the committee he saw the pickup truck ahead of him make a left-hand turn. That is when the patrol car sped over a patch of black ice.

He lost control of the vehicle in a residential neighbourhood and it crashed into five vehicles parked close to an apartment building. Both police officers suffered minor injuries and Gagnon’s partner had to take five months off from work to recover.

The patrol car was a total loss, while the five parked cars were left with damage described in the committee’s decision as “medium to minor.”

The investigators who looked into the crash determined it was caused by the black ice. But they also noted Gagnon was travelling at 118 km/h when he went through an intersection seconds before the crash. They found that, given the configuration of the intersection, the speed he was travelling at was dangerous.

Gagnon conceded he should have slowed down at the intersection and that he violated the Quebec police ethics code by not driving his patrol car prudently.

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