After 2 teens killed in fatal crash, attention turns to Stittsville quarry

Two days after a pair of teenagers died in a single-vehicle collision in west Ottawa, attention is shifting to the Stittsville quarry where they'd reportedly been partying earlier that evening.

Privately-owned quarry on Jinkinson Road popular party site

Alex Lavergne prepares to jump into the waters of a quarry site on Jinkinson Road in west Ottawa on June 20, 2017. It's believed two teen girls who died in a nearby crash Sunday night had just left a bush party at the site. (CBC)


  • The parents of one of the girls in the car confirmed the group attended the quarry before the crash.

Two days after a pair of teenagers died in a single-vehicle collision in west Ottawa, attention is shifting to the quarry in the Ottawa community of Stittsville where they'd reportedly been partying earlier that evening.

It's believed Michaela Martel and Maddie Clement died after leaving a quarry owned by Thomas Cavanagh Construction on Jinkinson Road, which residents have told CBC News was the scene of a party that same night.

According to police, their car was travelling north on Fernbank Road at around 9:22 p.m. Sunday when the driver of the car tried to pass another motorist and — for reasons so far unknown — swerved off the road and into the trees.

Martel and Clement were pronounced dead at the scene. The two other occupants, a 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old man, were sent to hospital with traumatic injuries and were initially listed in serious but stable condition.

As of Tuesday morning, no charges have been laid in relation to the crash, and police have not confirmed the bush party took place at the quarry.

Michaela Martel, left, and Maddie Clement, right, were killed in the June 18, 2017, collision on Fernbank Road. Chris Galletta of Ottawa has been charged. (Facebook)

'Pretty popular some nights'

The quarry, which is owned by Thomas Cavanagh Construction, is known as a place to party, said Alex Lavergne, who was hanging out there Tuesday afternoon with friends.

"[People] kind of like to jump off here. They have fun diving into the water," said Lavergne, who said the quarry also "gets pretty popular some nights," with dozens of cars parked on the rocks.

"It's kind of like a home for some people," he said. "They don't have to worry about people telling them what to do."

Emma Sjoberg, 17, was also at the quarry Tuesday. She said she briefly attended the same school as Clement and that the two teens were "always happy all the time."

She said that although she'd never been to the quarry before, she understood its appeal as a spot to hang out and party.

"Everyone always jumps off. It's something to check off your bucket list," Sjoberg said.

On Monday morning, Ottawa police analyze the scene of a crash that left two teen girls dead and another two teens seriously injured. (Andrew Foote/CBC)

Neither Sjoberg nor Lavergne felt closing the quarry would keep people away — with Lavergne adding he was under the impression the owners allowed people to have a good time at the site, within reason.

"There was an article online that the owner of the quarry doesn't mind people coming to the quarry, as long as they're respectful and not too stupid," he said.

Shortly after the interviews with Lavergne and Sjoberg, security officials showed up and asked everyone to leave the site.

​Thomas Cavanagh Construction has not officially commented on the deaths, although an employee told CBC News there was a feeling of sadness at the company.

Emma Sjoberg was visiting the quarry for the first time on Tuesday. She said Martel and Clement were 'always happy.' (CBC)

'Complete turnaround'

Investigators continued to speak Tuesday with the friends and families of the four people involved in the fatal crash.

Clement, 17, left behind a young daughter, according to Jody Gore, the former girlfriend of Clement's uncle.

"Maddie was an amazing mother. She was devoted to that child," Gore told CBC News on Monday. "She was a teenager, obviously, and she became like a 30-year-old mother, overnight."

Martel's family confirmed Monday evening that she was the other victim in the collision. The family has asked for privacy. 

Det. Alain Boucher says Ottawa police are hoping to speak with anyone who might have attended a bush party on the night of the crash. 0:36

An Ottawa police cruiser blocks access to the scene on Fernbank Road. (Stephane Beaudoin/CBC)

With files from Matthew Kupfer, Giacomo Panico and Stu Mills