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Families in anguish as Quebec truck driver charged in fatal northern Ont. crash eludes police


Two grieving families in northern Ontario have hired a private investigator to track down a truck driver who skipped court after being charged in a fatal collision last year.

Two pregnant women were in a vehicle struck by a commercial truck April 7, 2022. Christina "Chrissy" Osmond, 21, was killed along with her unborn child. Her friend Brooke, 22, who survived with critical injuries, also lost her baby.

Brooke (left) and Christina (right) were both pregnant when they were hit by a commercial vehicle driven by 68-year-old Richard Ouellette of Dorval, Que. (Jessica Pare)

The families say police aren’t doing enough to find the driver charged in the case, Richard Ouellette, 68, of Dorval, Que. He skipped a court date last year and hasn’t been seen since.

Ouellette was charged with dangerous driving causing death and dangerous operation causing bodily harm in connection with the crash in Temiskaming Shores at the intersection of Highway 11 and Highway 65.

"Every day, since that fateful day 18 months ago, I relive that devastating day over and over again. I now live in a constant state of grief and the memories of what was, should be and what will never be," Osmond's mother, Caroline, told CTV News in an online message.

"No one should have to meet their grandchild for the first and only time at a funeral home."

Colton's ultrasound photo (Reynold's Funeral)

Brooke spent about four weeks in hospital, including time in the intensive care unit in a medically induced coma, her mother Jessica Pare told CTV News in a phone interview.

As a result of the collision, Brooke also lost her baby, Grace, who was due in June 2022.

Roadside memorial for three killed in a crash with a tractor-trailer in Temiskaming Shores on April 7, 2022, Christine, Colton and Grace. (Jessica Pare)


Family members of the victims said Ouellette failed to attend court in August 2022. The Haileybury courthouse said there are currently no further court dates scheduled in the matter.

An arrest warrant has been issued for him, but he is still at large, OPP Acting Sgt. Rob Lewis told CTV News in an email.

Under the warrant, any police agency across Canada can arrest Ouellette if located.

"If the individual is located by any other police service, that police service would contact the police service who issued the warrant and advised them that the accused person is in their custody," Lewis said.

"The case is still open and investigators will follow up on any leads provided to them and will request the assistance of any other police services if need to be."

Pare said she is upset that police are not actively looking for him. The families hired a private investigator who found him in Manitoba, but he ran.

"Turn yourself in Richard Ouellette. You have caused so much pain to my daughter, the least you can do is pay for your crimes. She’s had enough pain and suffering," Pare said in a social media post.

"He’s out there somewhere everyone needs to share and help us bring justice to these women and their babies."


Despite pleas from the family and inquiries from the media, police are not releasing Ouellette's photo.

"The OPP is unable to provide any photos of the accused," Lewis said.

"A photo of an accused will only be released when the public’s right to know clearly exceeds an individual right to privacy."

Pare said her faith in the Canadian justice system is low.

"How are we supposed to live and move on while you run? What’s that doing for you? Aren’t you feeling guilty," she said in a social media post.

"You will be found Richard Oullette. You will be found and will be held accountable for your mistakes. Heaven knows we are thinking about the mistakes made that day … every day."


The collision completely changed the course of Brooke's life, her mom said. In addition to trying to cope with the loss of her baby, she is also struggling physically and financially.

Brooke visits the roadside memorial for her unborn baby, Grace, her friend Christina and her unborn baby Colton in Temiskaming Shores. (Jessica Pare)

"What I don’t understand is how someone can hit two pregnant women, kill two babies, put one in ICU and make her mother watch her almost die and kill the mother of a baby and still be on the run? Please tell me how this is justice for my daughter, Christina, Colton, and Grace, my sweet grandbaby, who died," Pare said.

"How are we supposed to live and move on while you run? What’s that doing for you? Aren’t you feeling guilty? … You will be found and will be held accountable for your mistakes. Heaven knows we are thinking about the mistakes made that day … every day."

Caroline said the loss of her daughter and grandson has had a profound effect on her and the rest of her family.

"Christina, my beautiful daughter. There's so much I never had a chance to tell you. So much I wanted to say. You would have been an incredible mother, there's no doubt in my mind. The thought you didn't get the chance to experience having Colton will always break my heart. There's just so much I miss about you. I miss your smile, your laughter, your hugs, your sense of humour. I miss our talks, but more than anything I miss your voice, oh how I miss your voice. If I knew that day you left was the last time, I would never have let you go. You deserved so much better than this tragic end," she said in an open letter.

Christina Osmond and her unborn son Colton Niemi were killed in a crash on Highway 11 on April 7/22. (Facebook)

"Colton my beautiful grandson, my handsome baby boy. Oh, how I wish I could have known you. I just to wrap my arms around you and tell you how much I loved you. I'll never know the colour of your eyes, the sound of your voice, I didn't get to see you being born, your first teeth or your first steps. We didn't get to embrace any of your milestones. I'll (never) know who you were supposed to be."

Caroline is also calling on the province to do something about road safety in the area.

"The government knew how bad that route is and still nothing has been done," she said. 

Ontario Provincial Police confirmed Nov. 14, 2023, the driver charged in the fatal crash was found deceased in another province. Top Stories

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