9 p.m., Nov. 28)
describe circumstances surrounding toddler's drowning
The circumstances surrounding the 2010 drowning
death of Jérèmie Audette are
the focus of a coroner's inquest which began
on Monday. File photo
caregiver responsible for the safety of a two-year-old
boy who drowned in a backyard pool in July 2010, only
let the boy out of her sight for "two or three minutes"
before he was discovered floating face down in the water.
McLellan, 48, was visiting her friend and fellow caregiver
Wendy Lapierre with seven of her charges when the accident
Wednesday McLellan testified that she had already changed
Jérèmie Audette into his swimsuit and was
changing the other kids into their bathing suits when
the toddler wandered off.
two or three minutes passed when she heard Lapierre's
eight-year-old daughter Chloe, and her own daughter Audrey
Maynard, 9, start to scream.
immediately ran up the wooden stairs to the above ground
pool and jumped into the water. She carried Audette's
limp body to the pool deck and began performing mouth-to-mouth
and CPR on him.
threw up in my mouth and on the deck," McLellan told
coroner Vivian-Lee Stewart.
turned Audette on his side and he vomited again.
McLellan was trying to revive Audette, the 28 other children
who had been playing in the backyard were ushered into
arrived soon afterwards and took over the efforts to resuscitate
the youngster. When the paramedics arrived on the scene
a minute or two later, Audette was exhibiting no vital
signs. He was later pronounced dead after being transported
to CHEO by ambulance.
asked by Stewart whether she thought there was adequate
supervision in the backyard given the number of kids,
McLellan said she had never had any problems before.
pressed further on whether or not there was an understanding
among the three caregivers who were at the playdate, McLellan
failed to answer the question directly. Instead, she said
that the children in her care were under "constant
supervision", and that she was always checking on
differs somewhat from the video statement her daughter
made to police shortly after the incident occurred. Maynard
told police investigators that her mother had noticed
Audette was missing, but did not immediately go looking
for him until he was discovered in the pool.
just said Jérèmie disappeared,
Maynard said in a videotaped interview.
asked about her daughter's statement, McLellan said she
misspoke and that her statement was "false".
Children's Aid Society investigator assigned to the case
believed the young girl's version of events.
believed that (McLellan) was aware that he had disappeared
and did not go looking for him, CAS investigator
Gavin Fletcher told the inquest.
also testified she told the kids not to go in the big
it your experience that two-year-olds always do what theyre
told? Stewart pressed McLellan.
McLellan replied unless you repeat it and
repeat it and repeat it.
said she had told the children twice.
the first three days of the inquest, a great deal of attention
has been placed on the gate leading to the stairs to the
pool and whether or not it was open or closed at the time
of the accident.
testified on Tuesday that she couldn't remember whether
the gate was open when she ran up the stairs.
photos of the scene show the gate being propped opened
by a small slide. Another photo of the latch on the gate
clearly shows that it was hanging on by a single screw.
testified on Wednesday that the gate was safe inspite
of the faulty latch which required some effort to close
still runs an unlicensed daycare out of her house despite
being fined $2,000 under the provincial Day Nurseries
Act for violations committed during a four day period
in July 2010
and placed on 12 months probation.
explained that she continued to operate because the parents
of the children under her care wouldn't let her stop.
got out of the daycare business shortly after the Children's
Aid Society recommended she do so following the drowning
she (continued to have) children in her care, we would
see that as an immediate risk, Fletcher told Stewart.
Our recommendation was that she not run a daycare
inquest continues on Thursday in the Provincial Courthouse
on Elgin Street.
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.)
to Front Page