An 18-year-old man is facing dangerous driving and criminal negligence charges after a June crash that left two young women dead and another seriously injured.
Ottawa police determined that Chris Galletta of Ottawa lost control of the black Chevrolet Cobalt he was driving as he was trying to pass another vehicle.
Michaela Martel, Maddie Clement and Sommer Foley, all 17 years old, were riding in the car with Galletta at the time.
Martel and Clement were pronounced dead at the scene, and both Galletta and Foley were hospitalized with serious injuries. They have since been released.
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On Thursday, more than a month after the crash, police announced that Galletta was arrested Wednesday and charged with:
- Two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
- One count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.
- Two counts of criminal negligence causing death.
- One count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
Many people are jumping to conclusions about what happened the night of the crash, said Galletta's lawyer Mark Ertel.
"(Galletta) is looking forward to getting a chance to proving he hasn't done anything wrong," Ertel said. "And when the thing goes to court and the full story comes out, people who jumped to conclusions are going to be surprised about what the real story is about what happened that night."
Bush party near crash scene
Firefighters, police and paramedics were called to Fernbank Road north of Jinkinson Road at about 9:22 p.m. on Sunday, June 18.
The teens were heading to or from a bush party at the time of the crash, according to Ottawa police Det. Alain Boucher.
The driver was trying to pass another motorist when the car swerved off the road and into trees.
Police said Thursday that Galletta had lost control of the vehicle.
"He feels terrible about what happened to his friends and any kind of criminal activity would be totally out of character for him," said Ertel.
Galletta's next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 15.