Ontario police charge club, employees in Muskoka traffic deaths.
Ontario Provincial Police have taken the highly unusual step of laying charges against a Muskoka resort and 16 of its employees in connection with three traffic fatalities.
Last summer Cory Mintz, 20, Tyler Mulcahy, 20, and Kourosh Totonchian, 19, died after the car they were riding in burst through a guardrail and struck a tree before ending up on its side in the Joseph River.
The OPP said at the time that its investigators had determined that alcohol and speed were "definite factors" in the crash that killed the three young men from Toronto.
An autopsy confirmed that all three drowned.
On Monday, police in Bracebridge announced they were charging 16 employees, along with the directors of the Lake Joseph Club with offences under the Liquor Licence Act in connection with the deaths.
The 34 charges include allowing drunkenness on the premises of the club as well as serving liquor to an apparently intoxicated person.
The three victims had been visiting the cottage of Mintz's mother and decided to have a late lunch at the restaurant in nearby Port Sandfield.
While returning to the cottage the car hit a guardrail on the Joseph River bridge, crashed through trees and plunged into the water.
"The vehicle had hit and peeled back about 30 feet [about nine metres] of guardrail, and had launched itself and snapped some pine trees off approximately 25 feet [about 7.6 metres] in the air," Jim Sawkins, fire chief for the Township of Muskoka Lakes, told CBC News. (You have no idea how fast a car must have been travelling in order to do that - Crypt).
The speed limit for that section of road is 80 km/h. Sawkins said he believed the car was travelling much faster.
The deaths helped prompt new legislation that will put a strict ban on drinking for any driver 21 and under.
A fourth member of the party, Nastasia Elzinga, 19, of Toronto survived the crash.
Seriously??? At the time I read this, the article had already drawn 209 comments on the CBC website, the overwhelming majority sharing my own particular views on this: "Charging anyone but the individuals directly involved (I.E.: the victims), is a travesty!!" And they have already been awarded their Darwin Awards.
If the club is in actual violation of certain ordinances of the Liquor Act or other laws and regulations, fine. Charge them appropriately. But don't have the gall to even imply that the responsibility for the ultimate fate of these three young people has anything to do with the club.
Some folks have commented on their being from 'privileged families'. I know nothing of these young people and it's a moot point where they were from. The fact is that they were the authors of their own misfortune, as is often the case in life. I don't know how they were raised, what their parents taught them or what they didn't. Clearly, it hardly matters at this point. The bottom line is that they made the decisions that led to their demise. Therefore they alone are accountable. End of story. I'm not being insensitive to whatever emotions their parents might be going through here, I'm just being a realist. As for what part their parents themselves may have played in any of this, again it's none of my concern. That is something they alone will have to wrestle with for the remainder of their days.
Here's a news flash for any of you who might be interested: Drunk driving is not only a red flag for alcoholic behaviour (as in: "Hey!! Did you ever think that you just might be an alcoholic??"), it is exhibiting a total disregard for any innate survival skills that we may have been gifted with.
"The OPP have decided that alcohol and speed were a definite factor" in this incident. No freakin' kidding, Einstein! And based on this masterpiece of sleuthing, you're going to do what??? You're going to try to blame someone else for these young folks being criminally idiotic??? Well now that's just brilliant!! Are you people actually retarded or what???
"New legislation that will put a strict ban on drinking for any driver 21 and under...". Really? There are plenty of laws on the books NOW, for ALL of us, that have been there for decades. They specifically forbid this type of behaviour. Did these young people pay any heed whatsoever to them...??? Hell, no. Absolutely not. Will young folk pay any more attention to any other laws that you might care to dream up? Again, absolutely not... This is natural selection in action here. It's not within the purview of any government, municipal, provincial or federal, to interfere, much less attempt to legislate common sense. It can't be done and more to the point, it shouldn't be done.
These are "the stupid years". If young people survive them, they get to go on and breed. For as distraught as their parents might be, this is a clear cut case of death by misadventure. Not only that, but willful misadventure. Idiocy has no age limit though. Neither does accountability... Just because an individual makes it through their teens and twenties, doesn't mean they can thumb their nose at Ma Nature without consequences. Take those 8 snowmobilers out in BC. And still more even after that incident. People just don't learn...
There are no new laws or restrictions needed when it comes to alcohol and driving. The ones in place are more than sufficient. A normal, sentient person would think that this type of 'tragic story' would serve as a warning message to other young people out there. Sure... like this is the first time in Ontario's history that multiple young people have died in a car wreck, due to drunk driving. This happens not only every year, but several times per year. And this has been going on for generations now. Does anyone out there think that this is some kind of new trend? Frankly, I'm finding it hard to muster the requisite moral outrage anymore. If those who do this place so little value on their own life, who am I to argue? Why should I care more than they do?