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McNorgan found guilty in death of 8-year-old Girl Guide and injuries to 7 others


Petronella McNorgan has been found guilty of one count of criminal negligence causing death and seven counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

The 78-year-old woman showed little to no emotion in a London court room as the verdict was being read on Friday.

McNorgan had pleaded not guilty to the charges in relation to the death of an eight-year-old girl in November 2021.

Court heard on Nov. 30, 2021, the Honda CRV McNorgan was driving collided into a group of Girl Guides who were walking along Riverside Drive, west Wonderland Road, in London, Ont.

An eight-year-old girl was killed and seven others were injured in the crash.

“It’s been awful for everybody involved,” said Kelli Norton, a Girl Guide leader present the night of Nov. 30, 2021. “It was supposed to be a great night. We had been waiting for a good snow in a while, everyone was happy, we were singing songs. And I know none of that really truly matters at the end of the day, but our hope had been to give back to the community that night. Again, no one could have ever predicted that.”

Throughout the trial, the Crown has claimed that McNorgan’s actions were reckless when she pressed the gas instead of the brake when her vehicle reached speeds of 120 km/h.

The defence argued that this was an accident and that the brakes did not operate properly on the night in question.

“The family is crushed, obviously. There’s no winners, really, or losers in a tragedy like this. There’s a jury making a decision and we have to accept their decision in this court, and we plan to appeal,” said defence lawyer Phil Millar.

In her charge to the jury, Justice Pamela Hebner told them they can return with one of five verdicts including not guilty, guilty as charged, or guilty of the lesser charges of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

“It’s been a journey and frankly, a journey I’d rather not be on,” said Norton. “But we’ve all stood by each other, the families have been solid, our Guiding community has been there beside us. All the first responders, everybody who was there that night, everybody who came in, regular people who stopped because we needed them to, and I’m so grateful to everyone who stopped. We needed their help.”  

The matter is back in court on May 21 to set a date for a sentencing hearing. Top Stories

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