Mother charged in death of toddler who was swept away in river

Ontario Provincial Police has laid impaired driving charges against the mother of a toddler who died after being swept into the Grand River during a flood.

Michelle Hanson, 35, has been charged with impaired driving cause death, dangerous driving cause death, and criminal negligence cause death in connection with the child’s drowning.

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms when their minivan entered the swollen river near Orangeville on Feb. 21.

Police allege Hanson failed to stop at a road closure sign before their van became submerged.

Emergency responders, community members and volunteers spent weeks searching the river. The boy’s body was later discovered by a fisherman in Belwood, about 13 kilometres away from where he went missing.

Police say they will not be commenting on specific details of the allegations to protect the integrity of the court process.

“The OPP sympathizes with and expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family of Kaden Young on his tragic loss,” said OPP in a news release. “We also remember and recognize the many community residents and visitors who gave of their time to search for Kaden during the aftermath of this tragic incident.”

Hanson is scheduled to appear in an Orangeville court on Nov. 6.


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