Fifteen people involved in a tire-spinning tribute to a departed friend are now charged with a variety of offences, including stunt driving.
Back on Aug. 14, a celebration of life was held at a Hanmer funeral home for a 21-year-old man who died earlier that month in an ATV crash.
“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,” Greater Sudbury Police said in a release.
“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 on an emergency call, with lights and sirens activated, was held up from getting through the scene, the police service noted.
Meanwhile, the drivers were “cheered on by a large group of friends.”
Police said their communications centre was flooded with calls from concerned community members, and officers were “pulled from the scene of other priority calls in order to attend this incident.”
While the majority of the drivers and vehicles had left the scene prior to the arrival of police, members of the traffic management unit “conducted a thorough investigation and gathered evidence, video and statements,” the police service said.
As a result, 15 of the individuals involved now face a variety of charges. These include:
• stunt driving (16 counts);
• careless driving (15 counts);
• driving while under suspension (three counts);
• driving without insurance (two counts); and
• administrative plate or permit violations (four counts).
All 15 of the accused will attend court on Oct. 7 at 200 Brady St. to answer to the charges. Police did not release their names.
The police service said it “understands and respects the right to public assembly and peaceful gatherings.”
In this case, however, the incident “jeopardized public safety due to the manner in which these vehicles were being driven.”