5:30 a.m., Nov. 27)
into home day care drowning begins
The circumstances surrounding the 2010 drowning
death of Jérèmie Audette are
the focus of a coroner's inquest which began
on Monday. File photo
inquest into the 2010 drowning death of two-year-old Jérèmie
Audette began on Monday with testimony from the paramedics
who tried to revive him and photos of the scene of his
was in the care of his babysitter Cynthia MacLellan when
he fell into an above ground pool and drowned on July
28. The pair were visiting an unlicensed home-based day
care in South Fallingbrook on a playdate when the accident
were about 20 other children in the backyard when the
accident happened as well as several other caregivers.
was last seen playing in a green plastic wading pool when
his babysitter was distracted speaking with one of the
other adults. In a span of two or three minutes, he walked
about eight feet to a wooden stair case leading to the
edge of the above ground pool, climbed the seven steps
to the top and fell in.
was discovered moments later and pulled from the pool.
The day care operator, Wendy Lapierre, tried to performed
CPR on the toddler until firefighters arrived and took
the time paramedics arrived, Audette was showing no vital
signs. He failed to regain consciousness despite receiving
two shots of epinephrine in the ambulance and was pronounced
dead upon his arrival at CHEO.
photos taken at the scene show a toy strewn backyard with
the green kiddie pool in the foreground and the above
ground pool in the background. Much of the testimony on
Monday focused on the condition of the wooden gate at
the bottom of the pool stairs.
the photos the gate is propped open by a plastic slide.
Early testimony failed to establish when the slide was
placed where it was. However, a close up picture of the
gate latch clearly showed that it was barely being held
on by a single loose screw.
five-member jury listened to the testimony intently. They
have been charged with the task of determining the circumstances
surrounding Audette's death and making recommendations
to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future,
father Alain Audette attended the proceedings. Speaking
to reporters outside the courtroom he expressed his desire
to keep other children safe.
actually very positive that this is going to prevent...
other drownings, Audette said. We do have
other children, and we want to make sure that we do the
right steps to make sure that theyre safe.
and Lapierre have standing at the inquest and are being
represented by separate lawyers. It is not sure whether
either woman will testify during the proceedings which
are expected to take 15 days to complete.
Ottawa Police Service did issue any charges in the case,
however, Lapierre was fined $2000 and given 12 months
probation for running an unlicensed daycare under the
Ontario Day Nurseries Act.
police photo shows the South Fallinbrook backyard
where two-year-old Jérèmie Audette
drowned while attending a playdate on July
28, 2010.. Ottawa Police Service photo
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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