Skip to main content

Accused driver granted bail after girl, 7, dies in hit-and-run; city installs bollards at crash scene


The 45-year-old man charged in the hit-and-run that killed a Ukrainian girl earlier this week has been released on bail.

Juan Manuel Becerra Garcia appeared in a Montreal courtroom Thursday by video conference.

The Crown and defence agreed on the following bail conditions:

  • He must stay at the address he provided on Montreal’s South Shore
  • Deposit of $2,000
  • He is prohibited from driving
  • Forbidden from communicating with the victim’s family

"In such matters, the rule is that the accused be released on bail conditions and that there is a presumption of innocence," said Crown prosecutor Alexandre Gautier at the Montreal courthouse Thursday. "It does not carry weight off the fact that what happened to that young victim was a tragedy."

Mariia Legenkovska, a seven-year-old Ukrainian refugee who came to Canada just two months ago, was seriously injured after a man struck her with his vehicle in the Ville-Marie borough while she was walking to school Tuesday morning with her siblings. She later died in hospital.

Maria Legenkovska, 7, was killed in a hit-and-run in Montreal two months after arriving in Canada as a Ukrainian refugee.

The man charged in the collision initially fled the scene of the crash before turning himself in to authorities hours after the incident, according to police.


The city's ombudsperson announced Thursday it will investigate the fatal crash at the Ville-Marie intersection.

"Our hearts go out to the victim's family," the Montreal Ombudsperson said in a tweet announcing an investigation had been launched, which also expressed its condolences to the family.

Candles and stuffed animals mark the sidewalk near where a seven-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle in Montreal. The girl later died of her injuries and a man in his 40s was arrested. (Maya Johnson/CTV News)

The oversight body investigates decisions, recommendations, acts, or omissions by the city as part of its mandate, according to its website.

Amid calls for the city to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists, the Valerie Plante administration announced Thursday that it has introduced new measures at the site of the fatal crash.

Some of the changes include installing oversized stop signs on Parthenais Street on the northern side of the intersection with De Rouen Street and the narrowing of the roadway on Parthenais Street with bollards on the north and south side of the intersections with De Rouen and Larivière streets.

More police patrols will also be done in the area, the city said in a news release. The changes were implemented Thursday.

The release said other measures have been introduced in the borough in recent years to make streets safer, including bollards on 27 streets and complete retrofits on 10 streets.

The changes, the city said, are part of the City of Montreal's "Vision Zero" action plan to achieve zero deaths and serious injuries on roadways.


At the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of Sainte Sophie on Saint-Michel Boulevard, where the girl's funeral will be held, the flags were flying at half-mast Thursday. 

The family is trying to bring the girl's father, Andreii Legenkovska, to Canada so that he can attend her funeral, but getting him here is proving to be a challenge. Her father, a member of the territorial defence force, stayed behind in Ukraine to fight the Russian invasion as his family fled the carnage back home.

"Sometimes it's like a lottery. Each step could take days, it could also take weeks," said Eugene Czolij, Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Montreal. "It is a challenge, but we have a tragic circumstance that warrants that everyone pulls their weight."

Montreal police respond to a collision between a pedestrian and a vehicle near the intersection of Parthenais and Rouen streets in Ville-Marie on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (Ken Dow/CTV News)

Montreal's Ukrainian community is trying to get the girl's father here as soon as possible.

"Men from 18 to 60 are not allowed to leave the country, per se, so it's going to require a bit of paperwork," said Michael Shwec, head of the Quebec chapter of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. "We do believe that it’s a clearly demonstrated humanitarian request here."

While it's unclear how long it will take, officials are hopeful he'll be able to come and be with his family.

The accused driver is expected back in court in March 2023.

With files from CTV News Montreal's Luca Caruso-Moro Top Stories

Stay Connected