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Kitchener man charged with impaired driving in crash that killed toddler

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CTV Kitchener
Published Sunday, March 17, 2013 10:38AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, March 17, 2013 6:24PM EDT

Cambridge OPP have charged 53-year-old Hugh John Brake of Kitchener with impaired driving causing death after the cube van he was driving crashed into a disabled car.

Brake is facing eight charges including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, impaired driving, and possession of marijuana.

Meanwhile, the mother of the 17-month old baby girl remains in critical condition at Hamilton General Hospital.

The collision happened 6:30 Saturday night on highway 7/8 near the Fisher Hallman exit in Kitchener.

Police said a Volkswagen Jetta occupied by the young Stratford family broke down on the highway and was rear-ended by a U-Haul cube van.

OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford says it’s not clear if the family was inside or outside the vehicle at the time of impact.

“We were told originally that the child had no vital signs but she was revived.” Woodford says.

The baby girl was airlifted to McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton, where she was pronounced dead.

Jamie Wettlauffer watched as air and land ambulance crews rushed to get the woman and baby to hospital.

“I have two kids and I’m a father, so I can’t imagine what the mother’s going through right now.” Wettlauffer tells CTV News.

James Barkun was ten cars back of the crash and he says he saw a distraught man at the scene.

“Whoever he was, he was very upset.  He kind of fell down to his knees and swinging his head up.  He was obviously quite distraught over something and there was a few police officers just standing around him.” Barkun says.

Investigators say the father was taken to Grand River Hospital with minor injuries.

The driver of the U-Haul was taken into custody at the scene. 

“The driver had signs of alcohol so he was arrested for impaired.”  OPP Sgt. Woodford says.

Investigators are still trying to figure out why the car was disabled in a live lane of highway traffic and whether the family was inside the vehicle at the time of crash.

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