Canadian Justine Davis free to leave Cuba ahead of son’s funeral

Matthew Coutts
Daily Brew
Justine Davis and her son Cameron. Davis was unable to leave Cuba to attend Cameron's funeral until Feb. 6.

A Toronto woman trapped in Cuba following a car accident that claimed the life of her three-year-old son has been given permission to return to Canada ahead of his funeral this weekend.

Justine Davis had been blocked from leaving Cuba by an ongoing investigation into a December collision that claimed the life of her son, Cameron.

Six weeks after the fact and Justine was still refused permission to return to Canada. Until Thursday, when friends confirm the police investigation ended and Justine was told she was free to go.

“She definitely has a long road ahead of her, but it is the first step in the process,” friend Amber Hussey told Yahoo Canada News. “We are happy to see her coming home safe. We wish Cameron was coming along with her. It is bittersweet.”

Davis's ordeal began on Dec. 20, 2013, when she and Cameron travelled to Cuba for a week-long vacation following the death of her father.

On Dec. 23, they were involved in a car accident while riding on a rented scooter. She suffered a broken arm and a fractured leg. Cameron was killed.

[ Related: Justine Davis, a Canadian woman trapped in Cuba, may be forced to miss son’s funeral ]

Cameron's body was eventually returned to Canada, but Justine was told she could not leave until an investigation into the crash was complete. Six weeks later, her released seemed no more likely. Her son’s long-delayed funeral was planned for Feb. 8, and it appeared she would not be there to attend.

Friends and family back in Canada launched a campaign to bring her home, growing online support and urging the public to appeal to the Canadian government to get involved.

It appears to have worked.

Lynne Yelich, minister of state for foreign affairs, announced Davis's release on Twitter.

"I personally appealed to Cuba to request help on Ms. Davis's case on compassionate grounds," she wrote. "Pleased to relay that Ms. Davis is free to leave Cuba. We appreciate Cuba's efforts to resolve this situation."

Hussey added there is still no certainty that Davis will get back to Canada in time for Cameron's funeral on Saturday morning. They are in the process of securing her a flight home.

Want to know what news is brewing in Canada?
Follow @MRCoutts on Twitter.