New Brunswick

Mother of hit-and-run victim files lawsuit against accused driver

Brady Franics died in Saint-Charles in February after being struck by a vehicle on the side of the road. The driver left without stopping. Maurice Johnson is facing criminal changes, and the 56-year-old is also being sued by Francis's mother for negligence.

Brady Francis of Elsipogtog was waiting for a ride home when he was struck and killed in February

Jessica Perley has filed a civil suit against Maurice Johnson of Saint-Charles for negligence in relation to the death of her son, 22-year-old Brady Francis in Saint-Charles the night of Feb. 24. (Radio-Canada)

Jessica Perley is suing the man accused of failing to stop at the scene of the accident that killed her 22-year-old son in February.

Brady Francis of Elsipogtog First Nation was found dead on the side of the road in Saint-Charles, about 100 kilometres north of Moncton. 

After a lengthy RCMP investigation, Maurice Johnson of Saint-Charles was charged with failing to stop at the scene of the accident.

He elected to be tried by judge and jury and is expected back in court in January 2019.

Jessica Perley filed a statement of claim against Johnson on Aug. 28. In it, she claims that Johnson's truck struck her son "suddenly and without warning," and he "died tragically as a result of the collision."

The claim alleges Francis's death was caused by Johnson's negligence. 

Perley posted a video on Facebook asking for the person responsible for her son, Brady's death to come forward. (Jessica J. Perley/Facebook)

The allegations have not been tested in court.

Perley is suing on behalf of Brady Francis's estate, his father, Joseph Dana Francis, and his four siblings, Darienne Jane Perley-Francis, Bridgette Perley-Francis, Sara Annie Jayne Perley-Francis and Mathias Francis.

No financial value is included, but the claim asks for special damages, such as loss of financial support, loss of valuable services, funeral and burial expenses as well as general damages, punitive damages, costs and interest. The statement also asks for any other damages the court deems just.

RCMP released this picture asking anyone who may have seen the pickup truck in the hours before the fatal hit and run to contact them. Perley's statement of claim alleges Johnson is the owner and operator of a grey 2003 GMC Sierra 4x4 pickup truck. (RCMP)

The Elsipogtog community has shown an outpouring of support for Perley and the family since the hit and run.

The local school was closed for a day to allow the community to mourn the popular Francis.  

Hundreds of people attended Francis's funeral, a family member created a tribute video to celebrate Francis's life, and a "Just confess" rally was held in Moncton, 40 days after Francis died, to urge the person who hit him to come forward. 

The statement of claim alleges Johnson is the owner and operator of a grey 2003 GMC Sierra 4x4 pickup truck.

Only two days after Francis was killed, a GMC pickup truck was seized in the Saint-Charles area as part of the investigation, and the owner was questioned. 

A sign at CC's Entertainment Center counted the days without a charge being laid after Brady Francis was killed. (CBC)

But the investigation into who hit Francis went on for months before a charge was laid. It was a long wait for family and friends of the young man. 

A sign at CC's Entertainment Center, where Francis worked, kept a tally of the days without a charge. It read 115 days when the charge was announced by RCMP on June 20.

Neither Perley nor Johnson could be reached for comment. ​

A statement of defence has not yet been filed.

About the Author

Tori Weldon

Reporter

Tori Weldon is a reporter based in Moncton. She's been working for the CBC since 2008.