A man has pleaded guilty to four counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death in a Brampton crash that killed a mother and her three young children.
Brady Robertson, of Caledon, Ont., entered the plea in a Brampton courtroom on Monday. He pleaded not guilty to four counts of impaired operation causing death in connection with the fatal crash that happened on June 18, 2020 after 12 noon. He was 20 years old when he was charged.
Robertson also pleaded not guilty to another count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle from a separate incident in Caledon on June 16 at about 8:30 p.m., two days before the fatal crash.
Karolina Ciasullo, 37, and her three daughters — Klara, 6, Lilanna, 3, and Mila, 1 — died after their Volkswagen SUV was struck by a blue Infiniti G35 near Torbram Road and Countryside Drive on the afternoon of June 18, 2020.
Six-year-old Klara was pronounced dead at the scene. Ciasullo, Liliana and Mila were all transported to hospital, where they died.
Robertson was seriously injured as well.
Peel police allege that Robertson was travelling at a high rate of speed on June 18 when he "violently collided" with the Volkswagen SUV and then hit a Honda that was stopped westbound on Countryside Road at the red light.
The Volkswagen SUV driven by Ciasullo careened into a light pole, which fell onto the family trapped inside.
Four months after the fatal crash, Ontario's Special Investigations Unit determined that there were no grounds for criminal charges against a Peel Regional Police officer who was involved in a chase that ended with Robertson's blue Infiniti striking Ciasullo's Volkswagen SUV.
Court exhibits show high speed chase
In court on Monday, crown attorney Patrick Quilty presented several exhibits that showed a high speed chase between Robertson and a police officer through a residential area leading up to the fatal collision.
The chase began when an officer spotted Robertson driving his blue Infiniti without a front license plate on Bramalea Road. The officer made a U-turn, prompting Robertson to speed away. The officer's vehicle reached a speed of 105 kilometres per hour at one point.
A collision reconstruction analysis concluded Robertson was going 135 kilometres per hour in a 70 kilometre per hour zone.
Robertson eventually attempted to run a red light, and collided with Ciasullo's Volkswagen SUV.
Outside the courthouse on Monday, there was a rally to support families of victims of impaired and dangerous driving. Advocates called for longer maximum sentences.
Dangerous driving causing death is punishable up to 14 years.The rally was hosted by the advocacy group, Justice 4 Families.
Jillian McLeod, spokesperson for Justice 4 Families, said the group is calling for mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years for impaired driving causing death, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and criminal negligence causing death.
"I really don't think they take this issue seriously. They don't seem to consider that lives lost to road violence matter just as much as any other crime," she said.
McLeod said there is no mandatory minimum when someone kills another person with a vehicle.
"That's not right. They need to pay the consequences for it," she said.
"We're also asking that the parole be switched from having to serve only one third of the sentence to three quarters of the sentence. Right now, even if they get 10 years, they only have to serve one third of that before they're eligible for parole."
The trial resumes on Tuesday.