Jury Releases Recommendations as Result of Coroner's Inquest into 2013 Lake Wanapitei Tragedy 

Nov 2, 2018

Jury Releases Recommendations as Result of Coroner’s Inquest into 2013 Lake Wanapitei Tragedy 
As a result of the Coroner's inquest into the circumstances surrounding the tragic deaths of Matthew Humeniuk, Michael Kritz and Stephanie Bertrand, following a boating incident on Lake Wanapitei on June 30, 2013, the jury returned yesterday with 27 recommendations. 

“I want to express our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of all of those involved in these incidents,” said Mayor Brian Bigger. “I also want to express my gratitude to all those seeking to make the systems and processes we all rely on as effective as possible. I know that the recommendations made as a result of this inquest were not made lightly, and they will be carefully reviewed.”  

 The jury recommendations will be thoroughly evaluated by the City of Greater Sudbury, Greater Sudbury Police Service and community partners, where action plans and next steps will be determined. 
“This inquest has been difficult to relive for all of those involved, and we would like to express our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of the deceased,” said Joseph Nicholls, General Manager of Community Safety and Chief of Fire and Paramedic Services for the City of Greater Sudbury. “We have implemented many initiatives since this incident, and we will continue to work with our partners to improve the coordination between Fire, Paramedic, and Police Services for the City of Greater Sudbury."

The results from the thorough evaluation of the recommendations will be brought forward to City Council and the public through the Emergency Services Committee, as well as through the annual budget process. 

“Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with the families of the victims involved in this terrible tragedy. The last five years have been extremely difficult for all of those who were impacted by that fateful evening”, said Chief Paul Pedersen of the Greater Sudbury Police Service. “We look forward to reviewing the recommendations with our emergency services partners through the Joint Emergency Services Operations Advisory Group (JESOAG) in order to implement positive change. We want to thank everyone who was involved in the inquest including the Coroner, members of the jury, witnesses, family members, communicators, emergency responders and investigators for dedicating your time to this important process.”

The inquest took place from October 15 to October 30 in Greater Sudbury and Ottawa. This inquest examined the Lake Wanapitei incident, and the death of an individual in the Ottawa area as a result of a medical condition. It focused on the roles that 911 dispatchers, emergency responders, as well as the 911 systems in place in 2013, had in these events. 

Coroner’s inquests are held to inform the public about the circumstances of a death. More than 30 witnesses, including staff from Greater Sudbury Police Services, and City Fire and Paramedic Services, provided testimony over the 12-day hearing. The jury, made up of five members from Greater Sudbury and Ottawa, has made 27 recommendations for consideration by both the province and municipalities across Ontario to help prevent a similar occurrence in the future. 
In the coming weeks, the Coroner will provide additional information for each recommendation to assist organizations in understanding how the jury arrived at these conclusions. We shall continue to leverage our collaborative relationship with all community safety partners whose goal it is to ensure Greater Sudbury is a safe place to live.