Montreal

SQ officer caused death of young boy by speeding while following suspect, Crown says

A Quebec provincial police officer caused the death of a five-year-old boy in 2014 by speeding recklessly while tailing a suspect in Longueuil, Crown prosecutors argued Monday.

The officer's trial for dangerous driving began today in a Longueuil courtroom

After Nicholas Thorne-Belanc's death, a sign reading "Speeding is criminal!" was installed at the corner of the intersection where he was hit. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC)

A Quebec provincial police officer caused the death of a five-year-old boy in 2014 by speeding recklessly while tailing a suspect in Longueuil, a Crown prosecutor argued Monday. 

Patrick Ouellet stands charged of dangerous driving causing death. His trial began today in a Longueuil courtroom.

In her opening statement, Crown prosecutor Geneviève Langlois said Ouellet was working a corruption case involving provincial politics at the time of the boy's death.

According to the Crown, Ouellet was driving more than 120 km/h in a 50 km/h zone while conducting a surveillance operation when he struck a car driven by Mike Belance, a bystander.

Patrick Ouellet, centre, stand charged of dangerous driving causing the death of a five-year-old boy. (Steve Rukavina/CBC)

In the car with Belance was his 10 year-old stepdaughter and his son, Nicholas Thorne-Belance, who died in hospital five days after the collision.

Langlois said there was no way Belance could have anticipated the unmarked Sûreté du Québec vehicle coming at full speed when he turned onto Gaétan-Boucher Boulevard, in the Longueuil borough of Saint-Hubert.

Crime scene photographs admitted into evidence by the first witness, a crime-scene investigator, showed the front end of Ouellet's vehicle struck Belance's vehicle directly in the rear passenger door, where the young boy was in his car seat.

Photos of Ouellet's car demonstrated the force of the impact. Its front end was smashed and the engine block crushed.

Testimony will continue Monday afternoon.

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