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Tears flow for victims’ families at sentencing hearing of Petronella McNorgan

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Tearful victim impact statements were heard at the sentencing hearing for Petronella McNorgan, the elderly woman found guilty in the horrific crash that killed a young girl and injured several others.

The crash in west London claimed the life of an 8-year-old girl who was out with a group of Girl Guides walking along Riverside Drive near Wonderland Road on Nov. 30, 2021.

Along with the girl who died, seven others were injured when an out of control and speeding SUV, driven by Petronella McNorgan, jumped the curb and crashed into them.

In her heartbreaking victim impact statement, the mother of the deceased little girl, who cannot be identified, described her catastrophic injuries, saying her torso was basically split in half by the impact.

The mother said, “Every day I’m overwhelmed with grief by the death…Her room is where I feel her the most, I hope she feels the level of her mother’s love.”

Then with tears flowing in the courtroom, the father addressed the hearing, saying, “I wake up most nights having nightmares, I try to run to her to help but it’s too late…I didn’t know I could cry so much.”

The girl’s brother stated, “Everything is so quiet now, I miss playing with my sister.”

Addressing McNorgan, he said, “I’m mad that you decided to drive that day.”

However, the anger towards McNorgan could be felt the most from the girl’s grandmother, “I’m upset that my daughter (the girl’s mother) blames herself…However you have blamed your ‘zombie car’ for what happened that night…You have never apologized.”

The grandmother concluded by saying, “As you continue to enjoy your grandchildren, Mrs. McNorgan, I hope you can reflect on what you have taken from us.”

A total of 21 victim impact statements were submitted into court from other victims and relatives affected by the crash. One of them expressed that, “The emotional toll has been immeasurable…Petronella McNorgan, you dragged all of these families through a trial.”

The statement concluded, “You’re an uncaring, self-centred person, you tried to blame others for what happened.”

The aunt of the deceased little girl stated, “You’re free to drive around London, while my niece is dead.”

In April, McNorgan was found guilty of one count of criminal negligence causing death and seven counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Thursday, Crown Attorney James Spangenberg asked Justice Pamela Hebner to sentence McNorgan to four years in prison.

When defence lawyer Phil Millar addressed the court, he asked the judge for leniency and mercy for McNorgan, noting that she too has suffered and is devastated by the crash.

The sentencing hearing resumes on Friday.

  

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