The family of a 15-year-old girl struck and killed by a vehicle in late last year has launched a $4 million lawsuit against the City of Mississauga, the Region of Peel and the driver involved in the collision after they say street lights were out where she was hit.
Madeleine Petrielli was fatally hit by a SUV in Mississauga, Ont. on the evening of Dec. 2, 2016 while she was crossing Britannia Road West at Glen Erin Drive with her boyfriend.
Although police said both individuals were jaywalking, the family claims street lights were out at the intersection which contributed to her death.
WATCH: Family of teen struck and killed by SUV in Mississauga launch $4M lawsuit against city, driver. Marianne Dimain reports.
“As it turns out, there were five street lights in the City of Mississauga at this intersection that were out,” lawyer Michael Smitiuch told reporters during a press conference at Petrielli’s home Wednesday morning.
“We shouldn’t have to remind municipalities of their responsibility to ensure streets and intersections meet minimal standards. Too many lives depend on it and Maddie’s life depended on it.”
The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and has yet to face any charges in the incident. Police said speed was not a factor in the collision, which is still under investigation.
Petrielli’s mother Nicole Burnat said she wants the City of Mississauga to be held accountable for not having the lights properly maintained.
“I think it’s deplorable that five lights were out at the intersection and the one directly in the pedestrian crosswalk was completely out. It makes a difference,” Burnat said.
“They weren’t out for one day or two days or three. After Madeline was killed, it wasn’t until maybe a week and a half later that they were repaired. Who knows how long they were out before that.”
Smitiuch said an engineer was hired on behalf of the Petrielli family to examine the circumstances surrounding Madeleine’s death and discovered the lighting at the intersection was woefully inadequate.
“The minimum standard is 15 to 22 lux. So that’s essentially how bright the intersection would be,” Smitiuch explained. “The engineer who is an expert in this area found that with the five lights being out, the intersection had only 4.9 lux. So it wasn’t even a third of the minimum standard.”
Smitiuch further added that the City of Mississauga has a policy in place to repair and replace lights in one working day.
“They recognize in their own policy that lighting is crucial to help protect pedestrians and motorists and we know that just wasn’t done,” he said.
Since the fatal pedestrian death, the speed limit was reduced from 70 km/h to 60 km/h but Petrielli’s mother said more is needed to prevent further deaths.
“My daughter is not walking through the door again. She’s not here to play with her little brother,” said Burant. “Madeleine has her consequences for her choice and she’s been held accountable in the worst way. And I want the driver to be held accountable for his part and I want the city to be held accountable for their part.”
VIDEO: Madeline Petrielli was struck and killed by a vehicle in Mississauga at around 8:30 p.m. Dec. 2.