8:30 a.m., Nov. 4)
states the obvious during next to last day of drowning
The circumstances surrounding the 2010 drowning
death of Jérèmie Audette are
the focus of a coroner's inquest which began
on Monday. File photo
expert on water safety stated what most people following
the coroner's inquest into the 2010 drowning death of
Jérèmie Audette already knew, that his death
was the result of a lack of supervision.
a clear statement of the obvious, Lifesaving Society Safety
Management Director Michael Shane told the inquest that
in his opinion there was a failure to supervise
five member inquest jury was shone pictures of the above
ground pool in which Audette drowned, which showed a plastic
patio chair sitting on the small wooden deck, but no one
was sitting in the chair when the drowning occurred.
accident happened at the home of Wendy Lapierre who operated
an unlicensed day care in the residence. Lapierre had
organized a play date for the kids in her as well as two
other home-based day cares.
was brought to the play date by his babysitter Cynthia
McLellan along with six other kids in her care.
48, had just changed Audette into his swimsuit when she
turned her attention to the other children. While she
was distracted he managed to climb up the wooden steps
to the above ground pool and somehow fell in.
testified that Audette was only out of her sight for "two
or three minutes" before two older kids saw him floating
in the pool and started screaming.
week, investigators testified that you could not see inside
the pool from the patio where McLellan and the other three
other adults who were supposed to be supervising the 30
children playing in the backyard.
another statement of the obvious, Shane told the inquest
that an adult should have been supervising access to the
pool at all times.
formal charges were laid in connection with the drowning,
although Lapierre was charged under the Day Nurseries
Act and fined $2,000 for allowing more than nine kids
at her home at a time.
incident and lack of any criminal charges has raised questions
over why none of the caregivers were charged for criminal
negligence. The answer may lie in the definition of the
charge which states that the accused must have demonstrated,
"a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or
safety of others".
can be argued that a lack of "adequate supervision"
does not necessarily equate to a wanton an reckless disregard
for the lives or safety of others.
coroner's inquest will wrap up today with closing arguments
after which the jury will be charged with the task of
making recommendations aimed at preventing a similar incident
from happening in the future.
police photo shows the South Fallinbrook backyard
where two-year-old Jérèmie Audette
drowned while attending a playdate on July
28, 2010.. Ottawa Police Service photo
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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