Skip to content

OPP News Digest

OPP 2013 TRAFFIC STATISTICS POINT TO DISTRACTED DRIVING AS #1 KILLER ON ROADS -OPP Asking for Public’s Help with Distracted Driving (ORILLIA, ON) – Irresponsible driver behaviour has the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) concerned about the fate of man

(ORILLIA, ON) –Irresponsible driver behaviour has the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) concerned about the fate of many road users this year as officers prepare to launch their next campaign against Distracted Driving.

In 2013, distracted driving fatalities surpassed both impaired and speed related fatalities in fatal motor vehicle collisions investigated by the OPP.  A total of 78 persons died in distracted driving related collisions compared to 57 impaired driving deaths and 44 speed related deaths last year.

“When you consider the overall impact of these 78 fatalities last year and the 325 other distracted driving victims who have died since 2010, the number of people these irresponsible drivers have had a profound and devastating impact on is in the thousands,” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support.

“Everyone, from the victims’ families and friends to the police officers who attend these horrific collision scenes and have to notify next-of-kin, knows the emotional impact of one life lost to this senseless driving behavior trickles down to so many people who, sadly, through experience, know how badly this behaviour needs to stop,” he added.

The OPP recognizes that the only way to stop people from dying in distracted driving related collisions is to raise awareness of how serious the problem is and to have everyone make a firm, lifelong commitment to helping the police and safety partners eliminate it altogether.  According to the OPP, it can be done.

“Over and above every driver pledging to never text or talk on the phone, pledge to be a good passenger and speak up if the driver in your car is using his/her phone or engaged in other forms of distraction.  Pledge to regularly encourage your friends and family to not be distracted while driving,” said OPP Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander of the Highway Safety Division. “Even though our campaign only runs one week, make this a year-round commitment because it is a fail proof way to help us eliminate the tragic deaths that occur every year because of distracted drivers,” added Bell.

The OPP is reminding motorists that on March 18, 2014 the current distracted driving fine of $155 will jump to $280 (this includes the increased $225 fine plus a $50 victim fine surcharge and $5 court cost).

The OPP’s Distracted Driving Campaign runs from Saturday, March 8 to Friday, March 14, 2014.  During that time, the OPP will be doing its part to eliminate the threat of

distracted driving through its own awareness raising efforts and focused enforcement of distracted driving laws throughout the province.

The OPP is asking Ontarians to show their support during this important campaign.  Go to the OPP’s Facebook and/or Twitter pages and let them know how you plan on helping to eliminate distracted driving on Ontario roads. The OPP will highlight some of your entries in a campaign wrap-up news release following the campaign.



(KIRKLAND LAKE, ON.) – Members of the Kirkland Lake Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have charged a local man with several criminal offences. The charges stem from a threatening complaint received by police. The subsequent investigation led to the arrest without incident of the accused at the intersection of Allen Avenue and Fifth Street in Kirkland Lake. Seized as a result of the investigation were an imitation firearm and a knife. The incident occurred at approximately 5:45 p.m. on February 28, 2014.

Charged with two counts of Possession of a Weapon for Dangerous Purpose, Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Threatening is Aaron SCHPITZER age 18 of Kirkland Lake. He was remanded into custody pending a bail hearing.



(HEARST, ON) -On March 2, 2014, at approximately 8:30 pm, the Hearst Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to the report of an assault in progress at a residence on Front Street in the town of Hearst.

Hearst OPP officers, the James Bay Detachment Crime Unit members, along with the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT) and OPP Canine Unit immediately attended the scene and initiated an investigation and ground search.

The police investigation revealed that shortly before police arrival, two unknown males forced their entry into the involved residence and assaulted a male and female resident with a weapon before fleeing the scene.

The male and female victims from Hearst sustained non-life threatening injuries during the attack and were transported to the Hearst hospital by Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

OPP investigators are now looking for two suspects described as;

One 5’ 7” tall, medium build male and one 6’ tall, slim build male. Both male suspects were observed wearing black ski masks and speaking English at the time of the event.

The OPP is asking for anyone with relevant information or who may have been in the Front Street area at the time in question, to call the Hearst OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

The police investigation is ongoing.



(HEARST, ON) – Following the fatal collision on Hwy 11, west of Hearst on March 2, 2014, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is releasing the name of the deceased driver.

The deceased driver of the Black Dodge pickup truck has been identified as 24 year old Patrick QUESSY-BRIERE of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The injured female passenger from London, Ontario remains in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The police investigation revealed that the Black eastbound Dodge pickup truck, occupied by a male driver and female passenger crossed the centre line and side swiped an oncoming westbound Commercial Motor Vehicle before colliding head on with a trailing second westbound Commercial Motor Vehicle. The two involved Commercial Motor Vehicle drivers did not sustain any injuries during the collision.

Road condition has been ruled out as members with the OPP Technical Traffic Collision Investigation (TTCI) continue their investigation.