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Construction company charged in Barrie, Ont., crash that killed 6 young adults


Con-Drain Group is charged with six counts of criminal negligence causing death following an investigation into an August 2022 collision that claimed the lives of six young adults in Barrie.

Barrie Police Services' communications coordinator, Peter Leon, said the charge is "very serious under the Criminal Code of Canada."

"Criminal negligence specifically deals with everyone who is criminally negligent who in doing anything or in omitting to do anything that is the duty of his or her job," Leon added.

On August 28, 2022, police officers investigating a missing persons report for six individuals discovered a single-vehicle crash in a construction zone in the city's south end.

The victims were later identified as Curtis King, 22, River Wells, 21, Jason Ono-O'Connor, 23, Luke West, 22, Jersey Mitchell, 20, and Haley Marin, 21.

Police say the group was heading to a casino at Georgian Downs, south of Barrie, when the vehicle they were in plunged into a deep concrete pit in a construction zone along McKay Road, east of County Road 27.

The crash site was found nearly 20 hours after the group was last seen.

"This incident has not only impacted the immediate family of the victims, but it's had an impact on our community as well," Leon said. "I just want to assure the public that this undertaking that our service has been involved in has been thorough. It has been detailed. It has been very concise."

Questions still remain, including to what extent, if at all, the hole and surrounding area between Veterans Drive and County Road 27 were blocked.

It's unclear if there was fencing or proper signage in place.

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.

A memorial for the six victims remains at the site of a deadly crash in a Barrie, Ont., construction zone on Thurs., Jan. 12, 2023. (CTV News/Steve Mansbridge)

Barrie police say they will not provide additional comments on the investigation, only adding they continue to investigate and welcome new information.

"You know there may be people out there that haven't spoken to us that may have something to share. There's never any timeframe that is more important than now," Leon stated.

Following news of the charges, the family of Curtis King released a statement to CTV News, saying, "This is huge step in our healing process. Our home is broken."

Con-Drain, founded by the De Gasperis brothers, is one of the largest construction companies in Ontario, with a focus on sewer and water infrastructure.

Con-Drain is scheduled to appear in court on February 13 to answer to the charges.

CTV Barrie reached out to Con-Drain Group for comment but has not received a response. Top Stories

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