No news from police review director two years after girl killed along Ontario roadway

Two years after a young woman died along a stretch of road on an Ontario First Nation, and a young man was paralyzed, there are still questions about whether the police did thorough job investigating the man who struck her.

The driver in the case was never charged and the story prompted an investigation by Ontario’s police watch dog.

Alma Jacobs lives just down the road in Moraviantown, the Delaware Nation, and drives by the site all the time where the crash happened.

It was also her granddaughter, Bailey Jacobs, who was killed on that night – two days shy of her 17th birthday.

“It’s just like it was yesterday,” Jacobs told APTN News by phone. “I’m very emotional.”

Brayden Hopkins was the driver. He’s a member of the Delaware Nation and was 21 at the time of the crash.

He was never charged with a crime.

Baily Jacob’s half-brother Tanner Whiteye and best friend Jordi Whiteye were with her when the collision happened.

Tanner is a paraplegic and Jordi sustained minor injuries.

APTN Investigates examined the crash, and the police investigation.

No one is clear on how and why the crash happened.

It happened at 1:40 a.m.

According to witnesses interview by APTN, the driver was not detained by police for more than an hour.

The family says the investigation left a lot to be desired.

No speed analysis tests were conducted,

People on the scene weren’t interview until weeks later and only after they called police.

APTN obtained the collision report written by the Ontario Provincial Police and asked a retired Winnipeg police traffic supervisor to review it.

“It’s just totally lacking in any detail,” said Damian Turner.

Turner said if any of his officers handed him a report, they’d be going back to the scene.

“I would be shocked,” he said. “I would send them straight back to the scene to continue the investigation.

“But I would be incredulous that they would believe that was a proper and thorough investigation.”

After the story aired on APTN, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director launched his own investigation.

The investigator called Alma Jacobs a month ago.

“He handed in all the paperwork to the top guy,” she said.

“I’m wishing and hoping they hurry up and get back to me and let me know what’s going on because this is very frustrating and emotional.”

Tanner’s mother Yolanda Whiteye is still waiting on a report as well.

I want the truth. I just want the truth,” she said.

“That’s all. That’s it. Our lives have been changed forever. The truth. That’s it.”

The driver in the crash Brayden Hopkins is now 24 and playing hockey in Sweden.


Host, Producer / Winnipeg

Melissa is a proud Red River Métis and award-winning journalist who has spent more than 24 years covering crime, courts, politics, business and entertainment for newspapers in four provinces.
She then joined APTN Investigates in 2009 and APTN National News in 2018 and in that time has garnered numerous awards and nominations including from the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network (2013), Canadian Association of Journalists (2016, 2019) and Canadian Screen Awards (2018, 2019).