Accused in deadly construction site mishap released

Accused in deadly construction site mishap released
Accused in fatal misadventure granted bail
A 19-year-old Ottawa man facing five charges after a teen died at a Barrhaven construction site Monday night has been granted bail.

He was arrested after a 17-year-old boy died in what police termed a "misadventure" at the Freshwater Way construction site around 8:45 p.m. on Oct. 8.

Accused in deadly Barrhaven construction site mishap released on bail

Addison Esprit, who lives near the scene of the incident, told CBC News that a shirtless man covered in blood pounded on his door that night, pleading for someone to call 911.

Esprit said the man told him he'd accidentally driven over his friend after they'd gone for a drunken joyride on stolen heavy machinery.

After the teen's death, a police spokesperson said the collisions unit had seized a vehicle and was investigating the incident — including how the pair got the keys to the ignition.

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John Wells, 19 (blue hoodie), appeared in court Tuesday afternoon to face charges of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death, impaired driving causing death, impaired driving, taking motor vehicle without consent, and criminal negligence causing death. Errol McGihon / Postmedia

John Wells walked out of the Elgin Street courthouse Wednesday after he was granted bail in the “death by misadventure” of his friend at a Barrhaven construction site.

Wells, 19, appeared in court by video link Wednesday afternoon facing five charges in the death of a 17-year-old boy at a building site on Thanksgiving Monday.

He is charged with criminal negligence causing death, impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, driving with a blood-alcohol level over 80 mg per 100 millilitres causing death and taking a vehicle without consent.

Wells wore a blue North Face hoodie and answered “yup” when asked if he understood the conditions of his release, which include a total of $20,000 in sureties posted by Wells himself and three others. He is also to live with his father and can’t leave the house between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Police allege Wells was driving a stolen JLG telescopic forklift on the job site when he ran over his 17-year-old friend.

Residents on the street, which has numerous homes under various states of construction, said they were alerted to the incident by a young man knocking frantically at the door around 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Addison Esprit, who lives on Freshwater Way near Cape Jack Walk Court, said the man appeared intoxicated as he begged for help. He was bare-chested and holding a blood-soaked shirt.

“He was crying that he had killed his friend. That’s a stupid way to die,” Esprit told the Citizen.

He said he had just run his friend over with a piece of heavy machinery at a nearby construction site. Neighbours dialed 911 as Esprit and the young man raced to the scene nearby, where they found the motionless body of the 17-year-old.

Paramedics said the boy had suffered trauma to multiple systems of his body and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board confirmed the victim was a student, releasing a statement Tuesday saying the board is “saddened to learn about the death of a young man in our community.”