Man charged after boy, 8, dies in Muskoka River

Man charged after boy, 8, dies in Muskoka River

Ontario Provincial Police have laid criminal charges against a Toronto-area man after a eight-year-old boy died in a canoeing incident in the Muskoka River near Bracebridge, Ont., on Friday. 

Police said in a media release the man and the boy were both thrown into the river when their canoe capsized. 

Officers rushed to the scene around 5:30 p.m. to find the man alone who told them the boy was missing. 

OPP Const. Mark Rickaby told CBC News the man is a friend of the boy's family. 

Police searched the water and found that the boy, who was wearing a life jacket, had gone over the falls. He was found on the south side of the river, Rickaby said.

Officers performed CPR on the child and sent him to hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. An autopsy will be performed on Sunday in Toronto. 

The Muskoka Emergency Medical Services, the Bracebridge Fire Department and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry also responded to the scene. 

Police charged the 37-year-old man with impaired operation of a vessel causing death and operating a vessel with blood alcohol of more than 80 milligrams causing death. 

A sobriety test was performed at hospital where the man was also treated for minor injuries relating to exposure, according to Rickaby. 

He is scheduled to appear at the Bracebridge courthouse on May 9 to face the charges. 

Police say the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call Bracebridge OPP at 1(888)310-1122 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.