Kitchener-Waterloo

Mom tested positive for drugs, alcohol on night Kaden Young died: court documents

The mother of Kaden Young, who died after being swept away in the Grand River during flooding on Feb. 21, 2018, tested positive for Percocet, OxyContin, cocaine and alcohol that night, according to court documents.

Boy drowned after his mother's van went into Grand River during flooding

Kaden Young's mom Michelle Hanson attends a vigil for her son Kaden in April 2018. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Michelle Hanson tested positive for at least three drugs and alcohol on the night the van she was driving went into the Grand River near Orangeville, Ont., and her toddler son was swept away, according to documents filed in family court.

Hanson allegedly had Percocet, OxyContin, cocaine and alcohol in her system on the night of Feb. 21, 2018, when her son, Kaden Young, 3, drowned, the court documents say.

That information was contained in a letter to a family court judge in Orangeville from Dufferin Child and Family Services.

The letter references a toxicology report conducted for Dufferin OPP, which was made available to child and family services as well. The Centre for Forensic Sciences prepared the report.

Hanson is facing charges of impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death related to the events of Feb. 21, 2018. A pretrial for the case has been scheduled for April 9.

Hanson was charged on Oct. 11, 2018, about seven months after her son died.

The woman was driving a minivan west of Orangeville around 1 a.m. when she went around a road closure sign about a kilometre from her home, police have said. Water covered the road, and the minivan wound up in the Grand River.

As they exited the submerged vehicle, Hanson said her son slipped out of her arms and was swept away in the river. Thousands of people volunteered to help search the banks of the Grand River. The boy's body was recovered on April 21.

Kaden Young drowned in the Grand River near Orangeville, Ont., on Feb. 21, 2018. (Submitted by the Young family)

Speaking in general and not about this case, Const. Shannon Gordanier of Dufferin OPP told CBC News a charge involving impaired driving means a driver could have under the legal limit of alcohol or drugs in their system, but an officer could still find them impaired.

"It's all up to the officer's observations on the road," she said.