Two teenage drivers involved in a crash that killed a three-year-old inher babysitter'syard in Île-Perrot, Que., were formally charged Thursday with negligence and dangerous driving causing death.


Quebec provincial police investigators survey an accident scene in Île-Perrot, west of Montreal island, where a three-year-old girl died Wednesday. ((Peter McCabe/Canadian Press))

Brandon Pardi, 18, appeared in court in Valleyfield, southwest of Montreal, where he was arraigned on charges of criminal negligence and dangerous driving causing death.

A17-year-old who cannot be named because he is a minor appeared in youth court Thursday afternoon to face the same charges.

Three-year-oldBianca Leduc was outside in her caregiver's backyard helping the woman hang Halloween lights early Wednesday afternoon when she was run over by a car thatveeredonto the lawn.

Provincial police said Pardi was driving a grey Volkswagen when the car crashed into a black Pontiac at the corner ofÉrables and Giffard streets just after 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Provincial police Capt. MarioLessard said both cars were speeding in the 30 km/h residential zone, and Pardi was driving alone on a learner's permit.

At the Valleyfield courthouse, Pardi's mother wiped away tears as she warded off reporters' questions.

"For the respect of the other family, we have no comment at this time, except to say we are deeply, deeply sorry for what happened," she said, asking not to be identified.

Pardi and his 17-year old friend will remain behind bars until their bail hearings.

"I talked to him very briefly," said the 17-year old's lawyer, Marc Alain. "He’s pretty nervous, but he has confidence in the justice system."


Police investigators say the girl was playing in her babysitter's backyard when two cars ran up onto the lawn. ((Peter McCabe/Canadian Press))

Pardi, who celebrated his 18th birthday Wednesday, graduated from Macdonald High School in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue in 2007, according to his profile on the social networking website Facebook.

Dozens of messages have been posted on his profile, mostly from friends expressing support.

Tragedy sheds light on policing problem

Île-Perrot Mayor Marc Roy said street racing has become a real problem in the community since 2001, when local police merged with the provincial police force, reducing the number of patrol units in the residential suburb west of Montreal.

Municipal councillor Robert Lafrance said there is a lack of police presence in the suburb."The Sûreté [du Québec]needs to adaptfor community policing, which they haven't done."

Provincial police defended their patrolling record in the area but admitted they need more resources to adequately serve the area.

"We're doing our job. While we're professionals as well, the mentality may have changed a bit, because we're serving the province of Quebec," said SQ spokesman François Doré."But we're adjusting our work in every municipality according to the problems they [have]."

"We're doing what they need us to do, with people on the scene, with officers on the road."

Doré said road accidents in the region decreased in 2006 and 2007, compared to previous years.

The SQ has 126 officers handling the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region,which includes Pincourt, Île-Perrot, Saint-Lazare and Hudson.

The provincial force said it would need an additional 20 cars to do the job properly.

With files from the Canadian Press