Saskatoon mom seeks justice for 9-year-old daughter killed by truck driver

·4 min read
Rochelle Dubois wants justice for her daughter Baeleigh, who died after a truck driver crashed into her on Sept. 9, 2021. This photo has been digitally altered to illustrate Dubois standing with her daughter, Daenerys, in front of a memorial for Baeleigh. (All Relations Photography - image credit)
Rochelle Dubois wants justice for her daughter Baeleigh, who died after a truck driver crashed into her on Sept. 9, 2021. This photo has been digitally altered to illustrate Dubois standing with her daughter, Daenerys, in front of a memorial for Baeleigh. (All Relations Photography - image credit)

Rochelle Dubois felt she had no choice but to share a tragic video that shows her nine-year-old daughter's death.

Her daughter Baeleigh Maurice was hit by a truck on Sept. 9, 2021, while she was in a marked crosswalk on 33rd Street in Saskatoon. The girl had been on her way to school, pushing along her scooter.

Dubois is beyond frustrated, because it's been four months and no charges have been laid against the driver.

"I know [Baeleigh] did everything right that she could. I know that in my heart, that she's not at fault for this, and that's all I need to know. The public needed to know," she said. "I just wanted everybody to see the truth for what it really is."

The video of the incident was posted to social media last week and has been shared by thousands of people. It shows the marked crosswalk where Baeleigh took her last steps. A truck and trailer are parked near the crosswalk sign. There's a white truck that seems to slow down as it approaches. Baeleigh appears with her scooter on the sidewalk. She pauses briefly and then starts to cross the road. Just seconds pass and then a truck rams into her, not appearing to change its speed.

Dubois questions why charges haven't been laid yet. She doesn't understand why police won't even tell her the name of the 27-year-old truck driver. It's not fair that the truck driver gets to walk free while her daughter has been taken away, she said.

"She loved everything and everyone, and there was just nothing bad about her, and I miss her every single day."

Trevor Bothorel/CBC
Trevor Bothorel/CBC

Police say investigators waiting on toxicology results

On Monday, Saskatoon police released a statement in response to the video of the fatal collision saying the investigation was still ongoing. They said data collected from the scene is still being analyzed to determine what factors caused the collision, but also that they were waiting on toxicology results from the driver.

Police said that in "cases where there is a need to determine if impairment played a role in the event, additional steps will be taken, including the analysis of breath or blood. Decisions relating to criminal charges cannot be made until these results are received."

Dubois said police could have chosen to prioritize the request to the lab. Dubois said she has reason to believe the driver was high. She said the police told her that they found THC during the initial screening on the day of the accident.

In the media release, police also said that "the families of the deceased rightfully have questions, and part of our job is to address their concerns and provide the answers they deserve. In the fatal collision from September, we understand the added impact waiting for those answers can have on the victim's families."

Justice for Baeleigh rally planned

Dubois said what makes the situation even worse is that some people have criticized her as she has amplified her calls for justice, casting blame onto her family.

"Society is blaming my child and blaming me," she said, choking up. "I have to live with this for the rest of my life. I don't know how that's not holding myself accountable."

However, while some people are trolling Dubois, others have extended their support. Community members are planning a Justice for Baeleigh rally on Thursday. Organizers are holding it in support of Dubois, but also to amplify the calls for charges to be laid and safety measures for pedestrians to be prioritized.

Stretch of road discussed by city

On Monday, Saskatoon's standing policy committee on transportation met and discussed the stretch of road in question. Baeleigh's death and the video showing it were both brought up during a discussion about pedestrian safety on 33rd Street.

Diane Bentley, president of Hudson Bay Park-Mayfair-Kelsey Woodlawn Community Association, noted it has been four months since Baeleigh died. She warned people that the video would "tear your heart out," but asked them to watch it.

Coun. Darren Hill said he had seen it.

"It tore my heart out," he said. "Young Baeleigh did everything right in terms of a pedestrian in terms of crossing that intersection. There's no fault at all for her actions and it is unfortunate, her tragic loss of life which may have been prevented."

Bentley has been advocating for the city to act quickly and put measures in place to aggressively alert drivers on 33rd Street about upcoming pedestrian crossings.

"I would encourage the city of Saskatoon to be bold, to be innovative and to be creative. You don't have to wait for federal or provincial legislation to act. You can take action to prevent further tragedy. "

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