Grandfather faces criminal negligence charges in fatal Bayham, Ont. fire pit incident

Jake and Tina Hiebert and three of their children were injured in the incident. The one-year-old girl later died of her injuries. via GoFundMe

Elgin County OPP announced charges on Friday in connection with a July 12 incident in Bayham, Ont., that resulted in the death of a baby and severe injuries for two of the infant’s siblings and both of her parents.

On July 13, OPP reported that emergency crews were called to a home on Vienna Line just before 7 p.m. the day before to find five members of a family with injuries ranging from serious to life-threatening.

Read more: Baby dies of injuries in Bayham, Ont. fire pit incident, 4 others remain in hospital

At the time, police said a 33-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman suffered serious injuries, while two girls, aged seven and one, and a four-year-old boy suffered life-threatening injuries. The baby was pronounced dead in hospital days later.

On Friday, July 23, police announced that Johan Hiebert, 55, of Bayham is charged with criminal negligence causing death and four counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm. He is due in court in St. Thomas on Sept. 7, police say.

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“He is the grandfather of deceased,” Derek Rogers, OPP regional media relations co-ordinator, told Global News.

“Obviously, there are charges before the court at this point and really I can’t provide any further detail.”

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

Read more: Fundraiser says 5 family members severely injured in Bayham fire pit incident all sedated in hospital

According to a now-closed fundraiser, Jake and Tina Hiebert and three of their young children “were severely burnt after a jerrycan filled with diesel exploded during a family bonfire.”

A close friend speaking on behalf of the family told Global News last Thursday that baby Layla had died that morning.

“She is no longer suffering. She has gone to be with Jesus. The family is asking for prayers,” she said at the time.

In the most recent update on July 20, Eva Enns wrote that Jake is doing “so much better” and that doctors had begun lessening the sedative Tina is receiving.

The two children are beside each other in hospital — the seven-year-old underwent a procedure where temporary fake skin was applied to her face and she is said to be “doing well,” while the four-year-old boy successfully underwent surgery on July 19, the fundraiser reads.


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