Greater Sudbury Police have charged more than a dozen people who took part in a memorial burnout on MR 80 in Hanmer on Aug. 14.
On Aug. 14, a Celebration of Life Service was held in Hanmer after the death of a man on Aug. 4, 2019.
Following the service, numerous individuals took the Celebration of Life to the streets and were involved in what was referred to on social media as a ‘memorial burnout’ on Municipal Road 80 near St. Joseph Street.
The burnouts were documented in a lengthy video posted to social media showing the drivers cutting off other vehicles, blocking the roadway and filling the area with dense smoke causing risk to public safety.
At one point, an ambulance with lights and sirens activated was held up from getting through the scene while on an emergency call. These drivers were cheered on by a large group of friends.
As a result of the actions of the drivers, the GSPS communications centre received numerous calls from concerned community members. Officers had to be pulled from the scene of other priority calls in order to attend this incident.
The majority of the drivers and vehicles had left the scene prior to the arrival of officers.
Since the incident, members of the Traffic Management Unit conducted a thorough investigation and gathered evidence, video and statements resulting in multiple charges being laid against 15 of the individuals that were involved.
The charges are as follows:
- Stunt driving x16
- Careless driving x15
- Drive while under suspension x3
- Owner operate motor vehicle no insurance x2
- Administrative plate or permit violations x4
All 15 of the individuals will attend Court on Oct. 7 at 200 Brady Street, Greater Sudbury to answer to the charges.
"The Greater Sudbury Police Service understands and respects the right to public assembly and peaceful gatherings. This incident jeopardized public safety due to the manner in which these vehicles were being driven," said a GSPS news release.
"We take road safety and the safety of our community members very seriously. Road safety is a shared commitment."