SQ officer charged in death of 5-year-old Nicholas Thorne-Belance

A Quebec provincial police officer has been charged in connection with a collision that killed five-year-old in Longueuil last year.

5-year-old killed after crash with an unmarked police car

The mother of Nicholas Thorne-Belance is feeling a mix of emotions as she deals with news a Quebec provincial police officer is facing charges in the death of her 5-year-old son. 1:47

A Quebec provincial police officer has been charged in connection with a collision that killed five-year-old Nicholas Thorne-Belance in Longueuil last year. 

It's still going to be a very long process for the family. It's something really hard for us to live through,- Stephanie Thorne, mother of Nicholas 

The officer, Patrick Ouellet, will face a charge of dangerous driving causing death.

Stephanie Thorne, the boy's mother, had mixed emotions when she heard the news.

She called the charge laid against the officer a "first step."

"It's still going to be a very long process for the family," she said.

"It's something really hard for us to live through."

Nicholas Thorne-Belance died in hospital five days after the February 2014 crash. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC)
Thorne said she thinks of her son every day and tries to keep his memory alive.

Car travelling double speed limit

Thorne-Belance was killed when an unmarked police car travelling at 122 kilometres an hour in a 50-kilometre zone slammed into the side of his father's sedan.

The sedan was carrying Mike Belance, his 10-year-old stepdaughter and Nicholas.

He died in hospital five days after the crash.

Initially, prosecutors declined to pursue charges.

But Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée asked independent prosecutors to re-examine the case back in November. 

Delay questioned 

Alexandre Cloutier, justice critic for the Parti Québécois, said it was "deplorable" it took so long for the government to re-examine the issue.

"In this case, it was the parents who had to fight with the system so that all of this eventually exploded in the public sphere," he said.

Ouellet is scheduled to appear in court June 26.