Off-duty officer charged with impaired driving after collision in Markham

Off-duty officer charged with impaired driving after collision in Markham

A York police officer has been charged with impaired driving after a collision in Markham on Sunday that left a motorcycle driver with serious injuries.

The incident occurred on Highway 7, near York Durham Line, around 7:15 p.m.

According to investigators, a Nissan Pathfinder collided with the motorcycle and fled the scene. The motorcyclist was transported to the hospital for treatment.

Police were later able to locate the vehicle and took an off-duty officer into custody in connection with the incident. The officer was not injured, police said.

Const. Nathan Coates, 42, has since been charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm, operation of a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams causing bodily harm, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 24.

According to York Regional Police, Coates has been a member of the force since 2005. He has been working out of the Whitchurch-Stouffville Community substation.

In a statement, York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe called the incident “extremely disheartening.”

“As law enforcement professionals, we are in a position of trust and we are rightfully held to a higher standard by members of our community,” the statement read.

“Every day, our members are committed to keeping our community safe, especially when it comes to impaired driving. For those members who do not uphold our values and make the unforgivable decision to drive while impaired, they will be held accountable for their actions, without exceptions.”

Coates has been suspended from duty and the incident has been forwarded to the Professional Bureau for further investigation. He may face additional charges under the Police Services Act.

The charges have not been proven in court.