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Construction company charged in Barrie, Ont., crash that killed 6 appears in court

It's been nearly seven months since a tragic crash claimed the lives of six young adults in a Barrie, Ont. construction site.

On Monday, ConDrain Group, charged in connection with the crash, appeared in court, represented by Henein Hutchison Robitaille LLP, a high-profile law firm in Toronto.

ConDrain is facing six counts of criminal negligence causing death.

Barrie police allege the company failed to properly sign and barricade the construction site, causing the deaths of Curtis King, 22; River Wells, 21; Jason Ono-O'Connor, 23; Luke West, 22; Jersey Mitchell, 20; and Haley Marin, 21.

Police believe the group was on their way to Georgian Downs in Innisfil on the morning of August 27, 2022, when the vehicle plunged down a 20-metre-deep concrete pit in the construction zone along McKay Road, east of County Road 27.

Officers searching for the six missing individuals found the crash site more than 20 hours later.

According to the City of Barrie, the area was the site of an infrastructure project with new water mains and sanitary sewers being built at McKay Road and Veterans Drive.

Monday's appearance marked the second since police charged ConDrain on January 12.

Barrie police noted that a "unique set of circumstances" led to the company, not a specific individual, being charged in this "very complex investigation."

How the company failed to sign and barricade the site properly will now be argued in the courtroom.

Lawyers representing the company did not offer a comment.

Following the charges being laid, ConDrain told CTV News it would not comment on the case as it is before the courts.

The City of Barrie, meanwhile, said it "has cooperated fully with Barrie police with respect to all aspects of their investigation into this tragic accident."

The case against ConDrain will continue to unfold in the coming months, with the matter scheduled to return to court on April 17.

The allegations against Con-Drain Group have not been tested in court.

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