New Brunswick

Coroner's inquest called into teen's death at Saint-Quentin plant

A coroner’s inquest into the 2016 death of a 17-year-old boy who succumbed to injuries suffered while working at a Groupe Savoie plant in Saint-Quentin has been scheduled for later this month.

Wanny Pelletier, 17, died of his injuries after the Dec. 22, 2016, incident

Wanny Pelletier, pictured with his mother, Stéphanie Labonté Côté, died four days after an accident at a Groupe Savoie plant in Saint-Quentin in 2016. (Submitted)

A coroner's inquest into the 2016 death of a 17-year-old boy who succumbed to injuries suffered while working at a Groupe Savoie plant in Saint-Quentin has been scheduled for later this month.

Chief coroner Gregory Forestell announced the inquest in a statement Monday, about 2½ years after Wanny Pelletier died. 

On Dec. 22, 2016, the high school student was cleaning at the pellet plant when his leg was caught in the conveyor, according to a WorkSafeNB investigation. He was stuck under the conveyor alone for two hours.

Pelletier died in the Edmundston Regional Hospital four days later.

Groupe Savoie, a producer of hardwood products and Saint-Quentin's largest employer, pleaded guilty in November 2018 to failing to provide the necessary supervision of Pelletier.

A second charge of failing to ensure a machine was used according to the manufacturer's instructions was withdrawn.

The charges were laid in December 2016 after an investigation by WorkSafeNB and the RCMP.

Groupe Savoie pleaded guilty in November 2018 to violating workplace safety legislation in Pelletier's death and was fined $125,000. (Facebook)

The company was fined $125,000 in February of this year. Justice Suzanne Bernard of the Court of Queen's Bench in Campbellton accepted the sentence recommended jointly by the Crown and defence.

The inquest, which will be public, has been scheduled for June 24 to 26 at the Edmundston provincial courthouse. Coroner Steve Gibson will hear evidence from witnesses to determine the facts surrounding Pelletier's death, the statement from the Department of Public Safety said.

The inquest jury will be able to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths in similar circumstances, the department said.

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