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Man sentenced in hit-and-run that killed Ukrainian girl in Montreal


The driver who struck and killed a seven-year-old Ukrainian refugee in 2022 has been sentenced to 12 months to be served in the community followed by a year of probation.

In May, Juan Manuel Beccerra-Garcia pleaded guilty to failing to stop after leaving the scene of the crash that caused the death of Mariia Legenkovska.

The seven-year-old was walking to school with her brother and sister on Dec. 13, 2022, when Becerra Garcia's Jeep Grand Cherokee ran into her.

He drove away from the scene without stopping but turned himself in to police later that day.

Both defence and prosecution agreed in a statement of facts that the sun was blinding that morning and the accused didn't see the child.

Defence lawyer Eric Coulombe told the court that his client had felt a bump against his car but hadn't realized he might have hit someone until he saw news reports of the girl's death.

Coulombe said that while the death was a tragic accident, his client recognizes that he should have stopped to make sure he hadn't hit anyone. 

Mariia and her family moved to Montreal in 2022 to escape the Russian invasion of their country.

Her father, Andrii Legenkovska, was fighting for Ukraine's territorial defence forces when she was killed, and he travelled to Montreal from the front lines to bury his daughter.

The girl's death prompted an outpouring of sadness in Montreal's Ukrainian community, raising questions about the safety of the area where Mariia was killed.

-- with files from The Canadian Press. Top Stories

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