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‘Not shown any remorse’: Parents of Ontario girl killed by driver speak at sentencing

Victim impact statements read at court Thursday described various ways Petronella McNorgan’s actions have changed the lives of those involved, but the common thread was that their grief was made worse by her lack of remorse over a crash that killed a little girl and injured several others in London, Ont.

The father of the eight-year-old struck dead by an SUV while she was with her Girl Guides troop told court on Thursday that “the worst day of my life was the last day of (his daughter’s).”

The girl’s mother recalled that her daughter was identified by the cast she had been wearing on her arm, a cast she supposed to get removed the following day.

A publication ban is in place in order to protect the identities of the children involved in the crash and their parents.

The then-76-year-old driver ran through an intersection, mounted a curb, struck a light post, struck a small tree and then struck a group of pedestrians heading eastbound on the north side of Riverside Drive toward Wonderland Road on the evening of Nov. 30, 2021.

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Ten pedestrians ranging in age from six to 40 were treated in hospital, including an eight-year-old girl who died of her injuries.

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“My grief has been exacerbated by the fact that the defendant has not expressed any real remorse,” the deceased’s mother told court.

The father addressed McNorgan directly, saying “you have not shown any remorse whatsoever” and that “this just makes the grieving process that much worse.”

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“Do you ever take the time to think of the damage you did to all the people involved?”

Both parents were emotional while reading their statements, pausing to slow their breathing and read through tears.

The mother had dropped her off to meet up with other Girl Guides, saying “my last memory of her alive was watching her walk in circles around one of the poles as she waited for close friends to arrive.”

She said she drove east across Wonderland Road to visit a friend for an hour before returning to pick up her daughter, at which point she “experienced a feeling of impending doom.”

The little girl’s father said he wakes up most nights with nightmares, usually involving him arriving at the scene of the crash just before his daughter got hit and being unable to save her.

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“Mommy still reads to you every night and I listen from our room,” he said in a portion of his statement where he addressed his daughter directly, adding that it’s still very painful for him to go into her room.

He said the family still hasn’t done their daughter’s laundry. Because it still smells like her, “we can’t bear to do anything with it right now.”

McNorgan was found guilty earlier this year of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Victim impact statements continue Thursday afternoon and will continue into Friday.

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