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‘Criminality’ difficult to prove in crash that killed B.C. toddler Ocean: police

Click to play video: 'Criminality ‘difficult to prove’ in horrific crash that killed B.C. toddler' Criminality ‘difficult to prove’ in horrific crash that killed B.C. toddler
The parents of a little girl killed in a horrifying crash in downtown Vancouver say they've been told a criminal charges in the case will be very difficult to prove.Rumina Daya reports – Feb 17, 2022

WARNING: Some readers may find details in this story disturbing. Discretion is advised.

Star Joinson and her partner Michael still light candles every night for their daughter, Ocean.

They’ve created a memorial to her in her bedroom, filling her bed with a few new stuffed animals every month as a way to remember her.

Ocean was just 23 months old when she was struck and killed by a car in Vancouver on July 6, 2021.

She was in her father’s arms, waiting to cross the street at the corner of Hornby and Smithe streets.

Star saw the whole thing from across the street.

Click to play video: 'Parents of toddler killed in tragic crash in downtown Vancouver speak about their grief and loss' Parents of toddler killed in tragic crash in downtown Vancouver speak about their grief and loss
Parents of toddler killed in tragic crash in downtown Vancouver speak about their grief and loss – Aug 10, 2021

“It’s been hard to cope with my daughter’s death. A lot of times I still see her passing or being knocked out of my partner’s arms,” Star said.

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Seven months later – Ocean’s parents say they’ve been warned criminal charges will be very difficult to prove. The end result could be a traffic offence.

“I felt sick to my stomach,” Star said. “I felt like my daughter’s life had no value. I was frustrated, I was angry, I was hurt, I was disgusted in our system.”

“We’ve been waiting, waiting, waiting, and there was all this pressure on us that we’re going to get charges. I ended up almost essentially falling apart at that moment,” added Michael.

Read more: What’s a life worth? Death of B.C. toddler in horrific crash raises questions about compensation

Michael’s arm and leg are now held together by metal rods. He suffered multiple fractures to his back and clavicle plus broken ribs, a punctured lung and lacerations to his kidney, spleen and liver.

“I see it before I go to sleep. I’m afraid to go to sleep. But I still do, otherwise, I get sicker,” Star added.

Michael and his daughter, Ocean, seen here in this photo from GoFundMe. GoFundMe

She said Ocean loved bath time. She was a water baby and loved being in the bath with her mom.

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“I miss having something to do. A purpose. I’m finding having to do things without her, which is hard.”

Star also said Ocean was her miracle baby, having lost multiple pregnancies.

Vancouver police say the crash happened when a black Ford Escape collided with a black McLaren in the intersection of Smithe and Hornby streets just after 6 p.m. on July 6, 2021.

One of the vehicles mounted the sidewalk and struck Michael and Ocean.

Click to play video: 'Wrongful death laws in British Columbia need an overhaul according to critics' Wrongful death laws in British Columbia need an overhaul according to critics
Wrongful death laws in British Columbia need an overhaul according to critics – Aug 10, 2021

Now, Star has a message to the investigators and lawyers assigned to the case – their daughter’s life mattered.

“Our daughter’s life was worth a lot to us, and I feel that anyone’s child’s life would mean a lot to them,” she said.

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“You wouldn’t want to go through what we’re going through. Don’t let our daughter’s life be lost and someone just receive a slap on the wrist. If she was murdered or kidnapped, this person would be charged. She was technically murdered by a vehicle. He needs to be charged appropriately. It’s still death. It should not be a slap on the wrist.”

Vancouver police confirmed to Global News charges will be recommended to the Crown soon but they will not be commenting on the nature of those charges. Ultimately, Crown prosecutors will decide if any charges will be laid.

For now, Ocean’s parents are still waiting.

“I believe children are our future and I wanted to teach a child the things I have learned through my life,” Star said.

“Now I have no one to teach.”

— with files from Rumina Daya

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