Mother and three daughters laid to rest as charges brought in fatal crash

A 20-year-old man was speeding when he crashed into and killed a mother and her three daughters, police alleged Thursday, just hours after the four family members were laid to rest.

Peel Regional Police allege Brady Robertson of Caledon, Ont., was driving at "a very high rate of speed" when he collided with a Volkswagen carrying Karolina Ciasullo, 37, and her daughters — Klara, 6, Lilianna, 3, and Mila, 1 — last Thursday.

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Robertson faces four counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, as well as one count of dangerous operation connected to an unrelated incident in Caledon two days earlier. He's due in court for a bail hearing on July 23.

Meanwhile, relatives of the Ciasullo family gathered at the St. Eugene de Mazenod Catholic church in Brampton, Ont., on Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to the four victims, whose deaths have sparked an outpouring of grief in the community.

In a tearful eulogy, Ciasullo's sister-in-law said she would miss the hours the two spent on the phone, planning holidays together and catching up, as well as stealing hugs from her nieces and hearing their voices.

Those memories will "play like a movie in my mind forever," Connie Ciasullo said, describing her sister-in-law as "the glue that held everything together."

"Despite the pain and heartache we feel, we were blessed to have had these beautiful souls in our life," she said, her voice breaking.

"And while we'll never know why these beyond beautiful lives were taken from this Earth so soon, we do know they will never be taken from our hearts, or our minds, or our prayers."

The service was closed to the public but was livestreamed, and the audio was played on loudspeakers outside the building.

Photos shared on social media showed a crowd scattered outside the church, some standing and others sitting in folding chairs to listen to the memorial.

Inside, four white caskets were placed before the altar as mourners spread out in the pews in accordance with physical distancing guidelines, some wearing black facemasks.

Ontario's police watchdog is also looking into the fatal collision.

The Special Investigations Unit has said a Peel Regional Police officer had "observed" one of the vehicles involved in the crash before the incident.

The SIU said Thursday its investigation is "ongoing."

An online fundraiser for the family had raised more than $390,000 for the family as of Thursday afternoon, with many donations coming in during the funeral service.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 25, 2020.

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