Global News has learned that a 20-year-old driver is facing charges in connection with a multi-vehicle crash in Brampton that left a 37-year-old mother and her three young daughters dead.
News of the charges came as friends and family gathered for the public funeral of Karolina Ciasullo, an elementary school teacher who lived in Caledon, and her children, six-year-old Klara, three-year-old Lilianna and one-year-old Mila.
Parallel investigations into the circumstances leading up to the crash are currently underway by Peel Regional Police and Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
Emergency crews were called to the intersection of Torbram Road and Countryside Drive in Brampton’s north end early Thursday afternoon.
Peel Regional Police said in a statement on Thursday that the Ciasullo family was travelling north on Tobram Road in a 2018 Volkswagen Atlas and the accused was travelling eastbound on Countryside Drive in an Infiniti G35 “at a very high rate of speed” when it smashed into the Atlas.
Police said the impact of the crash forced the Atlas into a light pole. The Infiniti then crashed into a Honda stopped at a red light.
Ciasullo and her daughters died shortly after a crash. The man driving the Infiniti was taken to hospital in serious condition. Sources not authorized to speak publicly told Global News the accused remains in hospital under police guard with two broken legs.
The SIU reported a Peel Regional Police officer travelling westbound on Countryside Drive “observed” an Infiniti car travelling eastbound.
The agency hasn’t revealed the details surrounding the initial observation by police. However, surveillance video obtained by Global News appeared to show the Infiniti speeding just before the crash. Multiple witnesses reported a police vehicle followed the vehicle.
The SIU investigates the conduct of officers involved in incidents where death or serious injury has occurred. Under Ontario law, Peel Regional Police aren’t allowed to discuss the involvement of police or the particulars surrounding an interaction after the SIU invokes its mandate.
Peel Regional Police also confirmed the suspect was involved in a minor collision in Caledon outside a coffee shop. Video shared on social media appeared to capture the incident, showing a blue Infiniti driving into some flower boxes outside a coffee shop. Residents could be seen trying to approach the vehicle before the accused drove away at high speed.
“Responding officers from the Caledon Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police observed the vehicle travelling in a dangerous manner eastbound on King Street in the town of Caledon,” the statement said.
“Officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop but due to the speed and manner of which he was driving, the decision was made not to pursue the vehicle.”
According to court records obtained by Global News on Thursday, Brady Robertson was arrested on Wednesday and charged with four counts of dangerous operation causing death under Section 320.13 (3) of the criminal code. The maximum sentence is life in prison. He was also charged with a count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle in connection with the Caledon incident.
Robertson was remanded into custody until July 23 when he will appear in court for a bail hearing.
Court documents also showed Robertson had prior convictions for driving while suspended, careless driving and driving without a licence. In December 2018, he also pleaded guilty to threatening to damage property and possession of an unauthorized firearm. For those offences he was given a conditional discharge, a weapons prohibitions, a year-long probation and a $100 fine.