Ottawa

Charges stayed against server on trial for 2017 crash that killed teens

All charges have been stayed against an eastern Ontario bar server on trial for the deaths of two teen boys, killed when their vehicle veered off a rural road near Burnstown, Ont., in 2017.

Crash near Burnstown, Ont., killed Brandon Hanniman and Alex Paquette, both 18

A makeshift memorial for Alex Paquette and Brandon Hanniman, who died in October 2017 in a single-vehicle crash about 100 kilometres west of Ottawa. On Thursday, all charges were stayed against bar server Ann Senack, who was arrested more than a year after the crash. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

All charges have been stayed against an eastern Ontario bar server on trial for the deaths of two teen boys killed when their vehicle veered off a rural road near Burnstown, Ont., in 2017.

Brandon Hanniman and Alex Paquette, both 18, died when their vehicle left Calabogie Road just after midnight on Oct. 27, 2017, and struck a rocky outcropping.

Hanniman, the driver, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Paquette died later after being taken off life support.

Two other teens in the vehicle were injured in the crash. All four of the occupants played for the Renfrew Timberwolves junior hockey team. 

At the time, Ontario Provincial Police said the teens had all been drinking earlier that night, and that only one was wearing a seatbelt.

Alex Paquette, left, and Brandon Hanniman, right, both played junior hockey for the Renfrew Timberwolves. (Renfrew Timberwolves/Supplied)

Evidence showed driver's phone in use

Roughly a year and a half later, OPP charged 62-year-old Ann Senack with two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Senack, from Greater Madawaska Township, worked at the now-closed Shooter's Bar and Grill in Calabogie, Ont., and allegedly served the underage boys before the crash.

The court had planned a three-week trial, but at the end of the second week in April, the defence entered cell phone records showing that Hanniman's phone was in use when the vehicle left the road.

On Thursday, Jeffrey Richardson, the senior Crown attorney for Renfrew County, told court they'd decided to stay all charges against Senack.

Instead, Senack has agreed to a 10-year peace bond, and will pay $10,000 and perform 300 hours of community work.

After the fatal crash, Shooter's Bar and Grill had its liquor licence suspended by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. The bar has since closed. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

Tony Paciocco, Senack's lawyer, said his client was relieved by the compromise, and said her agreement was not an admission of guilt.

"We're all in varying degrees losers in this, and may always be when we look back on this," Paciocco told the hearing.

There are still a number of civil cases pending against Senack.

With files from Amanda Pfeffer

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

now