We expect mysterious deaths to occur in totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany or the Stalinist Soviet Union. We should not expect it in democracies like Canada. But that is what happens when police, news media and other officials work together to hide the cause of a death.

On February 10th, 2021 a driver attempted to evade police is Sarnia and his vehicle went out of control resulting in his death. Official news media reported that the vehicle struck a fence but there was no indication of any other impact. At Gorski Consulting we have been aware that certain fences can cause the harpooning of vehicle and we wondered whether this could be such an incident. But no information about the cause of death was revealed. A single photo was provided of the collision site showing the vehicle that was covered in a tarp. But there was no photo of the fence.

As our suspicions were raised we prepared an article entitled “Death By Vehicle Impalement And The Silence That Enables It”. The following paragraph comes from that article.

“In the most recent case which occurred on February 10th, 2021, a driver sustained mysteriously fatal injuries after his vehicle struck a chain link fence along the property of Hanna Memorial Public School in Sarnia Ontario. Although the vehicle remained on the school grounds a large tarp was placed over its complete perimeter as the body of the victim was still in the vehicle. While there was good reason to cover the vehicle there was no reason to hide other portions of the scene such as the condition of the chain link fence which had been struck. The obvious fact that “a section of the school yard fence along Russell Street was damaged”, as reported by local news media, was not accompanied by any photos of that fence. In fact, a photo of the tarped vehicle was so closely cropped that it prevented any view of the damage to the fence. No mention was made by any official party as to how the driver sustained the reported fatal injuries. So, in fact, the public would know nothing about the possibility that the vehicle might have been impaled by the fence and that the fatal injuries could have been caused by that impalement. This type of concealment causes the enablement of injury and death that could be prevented if such tragic results were known.”

No further information was provided about the cause of the driver’s death until an article was published by CTV news on June 10, 2021. In that article it was noted that Sarnia police were cleared by the SIU in the man’s death. And finally the author made the following comment; “The car went into a chain link at Hanna Memorial Public School and a piece of metal railing from the fence broke through the vehicle and impaled the man, killing him”. Four months after the incident the public is finally made aware that the man was impaled.

Reviewing the various news articles written about the incident what has been emphasized is that the driver was attempting to evade police. It was also emphasized that police were not responsible for the man’s death. However at no point was it emphasized that the public could be in danger due to the presence of the fence. It is as if the public is to believe that only vehicles whose drivers are in the process of evading police are in danger of being harpooned.

This incident occurred on the property of a public school. What if a mother was driving her child to school on a slippery winter day and she lost control of her vehicle and struck the fence. Could the fence impale her or her child? And if this occurred could the news media be relied upon to report the cause of death? If fences exist throughout Ontario (which they do) that could potentially harpoon a vehicle should this fact be known by the public? If these incidents are rare should they remain concealed?

Death by impalement is a dreadful consequence. Even drivers who are evading police do not deserve to die by impalement. We do not avoid it by ignoring that it exists. We avoid it by making its presence known, evaluating how it occurred and making corrections to reduce the chance that it will happen again.