We have been here many times before: A family member dies and then police refuse to provide even basic information about how and why that death occurred. In a news article published by Colton Wiens of CTV News kitchener it was revealed how difficult it has been for the family of Linda Mindle after she was killed in an angle collision at the intersection of Wellington Road 125 and Halton-Erin Townline on June 6, 2023.
In a quote taken from Darlene Cyr, one of Linda’s daughters, the Wiens article provided the basics of the family’s difficulties: “We’re just left here with no answers and no justice”. Wiens also wrote ” The family said it’s been difficult getting answers from the OPP about their investigation”.
Wiens wrote: “CTV News reached out to Wellington County OPP for an interview but were told because the case has not reached the courts police would not be commenting on the investigation”.
Facts like these are repeated numerous times when serious or fatal collisions occur and the rights of family members are not taken into consideration.
A police photo of the collision site was posted in the Wiens article and it is reproduced below. It can be noted that the photo was taken from a long distance and provided very little information about what happened to the two involved vehicles.
In the Wiens article the Mindle family’s photo of the involved SUV was shown and this is reproduced below. Without substantial experience in vehicle damage analysis it would be difficult for anyone to appreciate that there are questions that need to be answered about why Linda Mindle died in this collision.
In a typical, serious, angle collision, in the vast majority of cases, there is a vehicle that has direct damage at it front end and there is a vehicle that has damage in its side. In a high degree of cases it is the vehicle that contains direct damage in its side that produces the more serious injuries. That result cannot be surprizing because there is less structure in the side of the vehicle that protects occupants. When we look at the above photo it is clear that the Mindle SUV contains direct damage along its left side and no such damage at its front end. So, from a preliminary standpoint, nothing should be of concern. Yet the pattern of damage is not typical.
A vehicle that us struck in its left side in a high-severity impact by another, light-duty vehicle, should exhibit the characteristic impression or “high depth of crush” caused by the front end of the other vehicle. In other words, the front end of the other vehicle should penetrate into the side and there should be a recognizable imprint of the front end of that vehicle in the side of the struck vehicle. This is not what is obvious in the above photo. A closer look suggests that the front end of the other vehicle impacted the left-front (driver’s side) wheel area. Following this the other vehicle then rotated into the driver’s door area and then likely made further contact toward the rear of the left side, as is typical. Because the wheel area of a vehicle is stiffer less crush and produced and this is probably why the imprint of the other vehicle’ front end is not that visible. However, even though there is direct contact along the driver’s door of the Mindle SUV there is no major intrusion (crush) into that door. And this result is common whenever the initial contact is made at the left-front wheel. In a scenario like this, the threat to the driver’s life is lessened. With proper seat-belt use and airbag deployment the likelihood of survival in this scenario should be relatively high. So what happened? Did something additional occur during the SUV’s travel through the roadside and during its rollover?
A single photo cannot provide the required answers to this question of why Linda Mindle sustained fatal injuries. Yet police likely have numerous photos. And, quite likely, police could have downloaded data from the Event Data Recorders of both vehicles. There is a lot of important information that can be examined from all this evidence. Even if the Mindle’s could not interpret that evidence themselves, they could retain an independent expert to do that for them – if they had access to that evidence. But as can be read in the Wiens article, none of that evidence has been made available to the Mindle family.
In these instances families of innocent victims are victimized a second time, by the agencies that keep key evidence secret from them.