Family of Madeleine Petrielli, 15, sues city, driver after fatal collision

Family of Madeleine Petrielli, 15, sues city, driver after fatal collision

The family of a 15-year-old girl struck and killed while crossing a Mississauga street in December is suing the city for $4 million, alleging the intersection had inadequate lighting on the night Madeleine Petrielli died. 

Petrielli was fatally struck by a vehicle as she crossed the intersection of Britannia Road and Glen Erin Drive on the evening of Dec. 2.

Police said she was jaywalking and speed from driver was not a factor. The driver was not charged.

But the family says five of the street lights at the intersection were out that night, and that it was the duty of the city and power company to make sure they were working and with enough light to safely illuminate the intersection.

In an email to CBC Toronto, a spokesperson said the City of Mississauga has not had enough time to comment on the allegations made in the family's lawsuit.

"We only received a courtesy copy of the claim this morning and are in the process of reviewing the allegations made against the city," Carley Smith DeBenedictis said in an email. "Please allow for some time for the City to investigate and assess the allegations before we respond to it."

'It's horrible,' mother says

The family is also suing Peel Region, Enersource, Alectra Power and the driver of the SUV. The family's claims have not been proven in court and none of the named defendants have filed a statement of defence.

"This is an unacceptable situation and Maddy paid with her life," the family's lawyer Michael Smitiuch told reporters at a news conference held Wednesday morning. "The hope is that [lawsuit] can make a difference, that the city wakes up and they can meet the minimum standards." 

Smitiuch said the family commissioned an engineering report showing that the intersection was lit to less than a third of the city's own minimum safety standards. 

"We believe her tragic death could have been prevented," Smitiuch said. "If the lighting had been better ... this accident wouldn't have happened."

On the night she was killed, Petrielli was walking with her boyfriend, who was not harmed.

Petrielli's mother Nicole Burnat said her daughter's death has left the family grief-stricken. 

"It's horrible. My life is completely different," she said. "My daughter's not walking through the door again, she's not here to play with her little brother.

"I don't get to see what she'll become. She was 15 years old."

Two weeks after her death, Petrielli's friends and family held a skating party to celebrate her life.