Inquest Announced In Highway 17 Fatality

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Dr. David Eden, Acting Regional Supervising Coroner for North Region, Sudbury Office, today announced that an inquest will be held into the death of Gerard Martin Smits. Mr. Smits, age 44, died on Feb.15, 2013. His body was found near the side of Highway 17 in Serpent River. The previous evening, Mr. Smits had been travelling by bus to Elliot Lake, and his body was found near the designated location for transfer between buses.

The inquest will examine the events surrounding Mr. Smits’ death, including procedures for transfer of passengers between buses at isolated locations during cold weather. The jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths.

The inquest is expected to last five days and to hear from approximately 10 witnesses.

Dr. Shelagh McRae will preside as inquest coroner and Dana Peterson will be counsel to the coroner.

Details regarding the date and location will be announced when the information becomes available