Teen dead in 'misadventure' at Barrhaven construction site

A 17-year-old boy is dead and a 19-year-old man has been charged following what police are terming a "misadventure" at a construction site on Freshwater Way in Barrhaven's Half Moon Bay community Monday night.

Man, 19, facing 5 charges including drunk driving, vehicle theft

The incident happened on Freshwater Way, near the intersection of Cambrian and Greenbank roads, at about 8:45 p.m. Monday. (CBC)

A 17-year-old boy is dead and a 19-year-old man has been charged following what police are terming a "misadventure" at a construction site on Freshwater Way in Barrhaven's Half Moon Bay community Monday night.

Addison Esprit, who lives nearby, said a shirtless man covered in blood came pounding on his door, pleading for help.

"He said, 'Can you please call 911? I drove over somebody!'" Esprit said.

A knock at the door alerted Addison Esprit to a tragedy in the neighbourhood. A 17-year-old boy died in what police have called a "misadventure" at a Barrhaven construction site. 0:35

Esprit and his son followed the man to the scene of the incident.

"The guy was lying on the ground. [The shirtless man] said, 'We were drunk, we stole [heavy equipment and] went joyriding and I accidentally drove over my friend.'"

Esprit said he sometimes sees young people driving around the area, but they never caused problems in the past.

Paramedics said they were called to the scene around 8:45 p.m.

The unidentified victim suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said alcohol was involved in the incident.

John Wells, 19, has been charged with:

  • Dangerous use of a motor vehicle causing death.
  • Driving while impaired causing death.
  • Driving with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in his blood.
  • Theft of a motor vehicle.
  • Criminal negligence causing death.

Wells appeared in court Tuesday and will appear again Wednesday. 

Lawyer Kate Irwin, who stood in for Wells's lawyer Sean May at the first appearance, said Wells understands the gravity of the charges. 

"These are very serious charges that is he is facing, and he is taking them very seriously. It is a shock to the system for sure," she said. 

Irwin said Wells is also dealing with the loss of a good friend. 

"I can't imagine being in that position, and I'm sure that is something difficult to go through." 

John Wells is depicted in this court sketch during his first court appearance on Tuesday. (Laurie Foster-MacLeod)

Vehicle seized

A police spokesperson said the collisions unit has seized a vehicle and is investigating the circumstances of the fatal incident, including determining how the pair got the keys to the ignition.

Kevin O'Shea, division president with Mattamy Homes, which owns the construction site, said the company could provide few details because of the ongoing investigation. 

"Obviously, in a time like this our thoughts are with the family of the victim. Mattamy Homes is and will continue to co-operate with the investigation," he said. 

The company did not answer questions about what kind of security is in place at the site.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour said it has not been notified about the incident and is not currently investigating.