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Criminal charges against Con-Drain Group dropped in car accident that killed six people

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September 25, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Barrie Criminal Charges

Photo: Barrie Police

Criminal charges have been dropped against the Con-Drain Group in relation to an accident that killed six people near Barrie, Ont., after the car they were driving crashed into a utility hole on a road under construction.

This morning, a prosecutor told the court that the company’s defense has unearthed new evidence, according to the Toronto Star

“As a result of this new evidence, charges of criminal negligence can no longer be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” she said. “As there is no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction, I’m asking that all charges against Con-Drain be marked as withdrawn.”

Night of accident

On Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, at about 2 a.m., while conducting a missing persons investigation, uniformed officers from the Barrie Police Service located a fatal motor vehicle collision that occurred on McKay Road, just east of County Road 27.

The car fell into a concrete pit — known as a tunnel access shaft — in the middle of a road under construction. Reports indicate the shaft was 10 metres wide and 20 metres deep. The accident claimed the lives of two females and four males who ranged in age from 20-23.


An investigation was started by members of the Barrie Police Service Traffic Unit and Investigative Services.

Victims identified

With the assistance of the Office of the Chief Coroner and Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OCC-OFPS), the deceased victims were positively identified.

They were identifed as:

  • Jersey Mitchell, 20
  • River Wells, 23
  • Curtis King, 22
  • Luke West, 22
  • Haley Marin, 21
  • Jason O’Connor, 23

The Ontario Ministry of Labour previously issued three orders and requirements in relation to the accident.


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