June 19th, 2024

Man to serve 12 months house arrest in fatal hit-and-run of 7-year-old Ukrainian girl

By Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press on June 5, 2024.

Lawyers say the driver who struck and killed a seven-year-old Ukrainian refugee in Montreal in 2022 has been sentenced to 12 months of house arrest. Mariia Legenkovska is seen in a family handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Legenkovska Family, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

MONTREAL – A driver who struck and killed a seven-year-old Ukrainian refugee in Montreal in 2022 has been sentenced to 12 months of house arrest.

Juan Manuel Becerra Garcia apologized to the girl’s family today at the courthouse following his sentencing, after pleading guilty last month to failing to stop after an accident.

Seven-year-old Mariia Legenkovska was walking to school with her brother and sister on Dec. 13, 2022, when Becerra Garcia’s Jeep Grand Cherokee ran into her.

He drove away from the scene without stopping but turned himself in to police later that day.

The defence and the prosecution jointly suggested a 12-month sentence, agreeing that Becerra Garcia hadn’t been driving dangerously and hadn’t seen the girl because of the blinding sun.

Defence lawyer Eric Coulombe said today that while Becerra Garcia hadn’t realized he had hit the girl, the accused accepted he was guilty of “voluntary blindness” for not stopping after sensing his car had bumped into something.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2024.

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