Coroner's inquest into Olivier Bruneau's death postponed

·2 min read
Olivier Bruneau was killed March 23, 2016 while he was working at the bottom of a deep pit. He was struck by falling ice. An inquest into his death has been postponed. (Facebook - image credit)
Olivier Bruneau was killed March 23, 2016 while he was working at the bottom of a deep pit. He was struck by falling ice. An inquest into his death has been postponed. (Facebook - image credit)

A long-awaited coroner's inquest into the death of Olivier Bruneau, who was crushed by a chunk of falling ice in an Ottawa construction site six years ago, will be postponed.

The inquest was scheduled for July 25, and was expected to last five days.

On March 23, 2016, Bruneau was working at the bottom of a nine-storey deep construction pit when a slab of ice detached from one of the excavation walls and crushed him to death. The Gatineau, Que., surveyor was 24 years old.

In a news release on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Coroner said the inquest has been postponed after "discussion with counsel and in the best interests of the inquest."

The coroner's office did not provide a new date for the inquest, and said more information will follow "when it becomes available."

According to information obtained by CBC/Radio-Canada, the coroner's inquest will focus on four points:

  1. Safety protocols for the work site, particularly ice removal and mitigation of dangers posed by falling ice.

  2. Protocols for site inspection, including any followup site inspection, once safety concerns had been raised.

  3. The criteria for reopening the site after being closed for safety reasons.

  4. The creation of exclusion zones.

The last two points refer to an incident that happened on the same construction site in February 2016, when another worker was hit by a piece of ice but escaped without serious injury.

Radio-Canada
Radio-Canada

In a January interview with Radio-Canada, Bruneau's father said the four points reflect his family's own questions.

"There were inspectors from the Ministry of Labour, safety committees, supervisors with a lot of experience, but the site was operated in violation of the code for many months until the day of the accident," said Christian Bruneau, at the time.

"I'm very puzzled as to how this could happen."

Bruneau also noted that it has taken too long for the inquest to begin.

"I don't think it's fair to hold a family hostage like this for six years waiting for answers," he said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting