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Ont.’s police watchdog investigating after Centre Wellington man seriously injured

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Ontario’s police watchdog is investigating a crash near Belwood Lake that saw a 43-year-old Centre Wellington man transported to hospital.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says it happened around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday in the area of Wellington Road 18 and Fourth Line, a few kilometres northeast of Fergus, Ont.

The SIU says shortly after midnight, Halton police officers attempted to stop a black Chrysler 300 alleged to have committed traffic infractions in another jurisdiction.

“The attempt was unsuccessful and officers disengaged,” the SIU said in a media release.

When the car entered Wellington County, OPP officers tried to stop to the vehicle.

At 1:45 a.m., the car left the roadway and entered a ditch.

The SIU says the driver was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a serious injury. The nature of the injury was not specified.

RESIDENTS REACT

One driver, who spoke to CTV News on camera but did not want to be identified by name, said she was on her way to work Wednesday morning around 6:30 a.m. when she saw the car in the ditch and some police officers.

“It looked like they had just arrived. The scene looked very sad or scary,” she said.

Nearby residents say this isn’t the first time there’s been dangerous driving so close to home.

“Everybody speeds down this road anyways. Every time I come home, I always have to slow down and people are just tailgating you all the time,” said James Hetzel, who lives nearby.

ROAD CLOSURES

Police shut down around 7 km of roadway in the area Wednesday morning.

As of 4 p.m., Wellington Road 18 remains closed between Fifth Line and Third Line. Fourth Line is still closed between Wellington Road 18 and Eramosa-Garafraxa Townline.

SIU APPEALS FOR INFORMATION

Three investigators and one forensic investigator have been assigned to the case.

The SIU is asking anyone who has information about the incident, including video or photos, to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529 or online.

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