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BREAKING: Charges dropped against Condrain in McKay Rd. crash

Court hears Crown has new evidence and charges could not be proven within reasonable doubt; company had been charged with six counts of criminal negligence causing death
Clockwise from top left are Haley Marin, Jason Ono-O'Connor, River Wells, Curtis King, Luke West, and Jersey Mitchell. All six were killed in a car crash the morning of Aug. 27, 2022 on McKay Road in south-end Barrie.

Editor's note: The following story has been updated from its original version to include a statement from Condrain through the construction company's legal counsel.

It was announced this morning in a Barrie courtroom that all criminal negligence charges have been dropped against Condrain in connection to the deadly crash on McKay Road that killed six young people in August 2022. 

During a case management hearing Monday morning, court heard that the Crown had new evidence and the charges could not be proven within a reasonable doubt. 

BarrieToday has confirmed with the Crown's office that all charges have been dropped, but are continuing to seek out what those developments in the case were. We will have more information as it becomes available. 

Condrain did not return phone or email messages to BarrieToday on Monday, but did issue a statement midday through its lawyers, Henein Hutchison Robitaille LLP, on the withdrawal of charges against the company.

“Condrain has always had confidence in the justice system and that this matter would conclude as it has today,” the statement says. “Our thoughts are with the families of those that lost their lives and the Barrie community.

“We remain committed to the community and moving forward from this heartbreaking tragedy.” 

The Concord-based company was charged January 2023 with criminal negligence in the deaths of Haley Marin, Curtis King, Luke West, Jersey Mitchell, River Wells, and Jason Ono-O’Connor, all of whom were in their early 20s.

The six young people were killed in a fiery crash on McKay Road, located in the city's south end between County Road 27 and Veterans Drive, around 6 a.m. on Aug. 27, 2022 when the vehicle they were in plunged into a construction hole in the middle of the closed road. 

According to a family member of one of the victims, the car they were in plummeted into a deep, concrete hole — referred to by the city as a “tunnel access shaft” — and then caught fire.

Court documents had alleged the company failed to "properly sign and barricade the temporary road closure of McKay Road between County Road 27 and Veterans Drive as per the traffic management plan and contract with Erritt Construction Ltd.”

On Jan. 12, Barrie Police Service’s Major Crime Unit announced that it had charged Condrain with six counts of criminal negligence causing death, contrary to Section 220(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

On Monday morning, a Barrie police spokesperson directed questions about the withdrawn charges to the Crown attorney's office.

On Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, at approximately 2 a.m., while conducting a missing persons investigation, police officers checked the construction zone and located a vehicle in a large hole in the middle of McKay Road.

Investigators soon determined the deadly wreck happened sometime shortly after 6 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. Police have said they believe the group was travelling to the nearby Gateway Casinos Innisfil (Georgian Downs), not far from the crash site and just outside the city limits.

According to the Condrain website, the company was founded in 1954 by brothers Alfredo, Antonio and Angelo De Gasperis. It began as a small concrete and drainage contractor, which is where the name Condrain originates from, and in the last 69 years has grown into land development, property management, aggregates supply and other subsidiary companies.

BarrieToday will have more on this developing story.