City of Ottawa sued by family of drowned teenager

Vimy Grant was 14 when he sank into the Ottawa River on July 3, 2020, after diving from the Chef-William-Commanda Bridge, formerly known as the Prince of Wales Bridge.

The tragedy occurred when the teenager came to the bridge with friends from where they took turns jumping into the water.

Vimy and his friends had visited the bridge several times before July 3, 2020we learn in the pursuit. They weren’t aware that they weren’t supposed to be there because so many other people were also there whenever they visited the bridge.

The bridge, which was built over 140 years ago, has been qualified particularly dangerous place for swimmers in pursuit.

Despite the condition of the bridge, it is a very popular place with the citizens of Ottawa, a fact of which the City of Ottawa is well aware. »

A quote from Excerpt from the lawsuit

The plaintiffs blame the City for the death of the young teenager. The old railway bridge had been closed for many years, but was not adequately barricaded, they said.

In 2016, the City of Ottawa installed barriers at the entrances to the bridge to limit access after receiving numerous calls to report a trespassing. These fences have been vandalized and breached many times since.

Two paramedics scan the Ottawa River on which an emergency services boat is circulating.

After the death of Vimy, a series of recommendations were made to the City by the coroner, underlines the lawsuit (archives).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Boris Proulx

After the death of Vimy, a series of recommendations were made to the City by the coroner, underlines the lawsuit. Among other things, the addition of lights, security cameras and an alarm system to reduce nighttime activities, the addition of signs prohibiting access and the increase of police presence in the area are recommended.

Despite this extensive review, no real improvements have been made to the bridge or surrounding areas to increase safetylaments the family. The City of Ottawa acted with complete disregard for public safety, including Vimy.

This laxity is incomprehensible to young Vimy Grant’s family, given that another death occurred at the same location less than a year after Vimy’s death.

In a brief written statement, Advocate General David White indicated that the City of Ottawa will respond to the statement on time. In keeping with its standard practice with respect to court cases, the City will not provide further comment on this matter.he added.

Work in progress

The structure has been undergoing major work since last fall to be transformed into a temporary multi-use path.

During the works, the public still cannot access the bridge; the patrols that were organized before as well as the barricades will be maintained and accompanied by other usual safety and security measures on the construction sitessaid Carina Duclos, Director of Infrastructure Services for the City of Ottawa. The work is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022.

The City of Ottawa would like to remind everyone that it is illegal and dangerous to enter a construction site illegally. »

A quote from Carina Duclos, Director of Infrastructure Services for the City of Ottawa

In response to accusations of laxity from the family, the City assured that it had taken measures for the safety of all. Mrs. Duclos ensures that public safety is a top priority for the City of Ottawa.

Safety features and considerations, such as guardrail and platform design, lighting and signage, have been assessed and incorporated into the multi-use pathway designshe added. The City will ensure that appropriate measures are taken to guarantee the safety of users once the multi-use path is open.

With information from Alexandra Angers

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