Parents of Deceased Fort Erie Teen Call on Province for Public Inquest

(The parents of 18-year-old Reilly Anzovino, who died  on route to the Welland Hospital following a traffic accident on Hwy. 3 shortly before midnight on Boxing Day, have joined numerous others in Niagara’s southern tier in asking for an Ontario coroner’s inquest into the circumstances surrounding the death.

Many, including Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor and Welland MPP Peter Kormos, want to know if the Niagara Health System’s decision last year to close the emergency rooms at the Fort Erie and Port Colborne hospital sites could be a factor in Reilly’s death, since she died shortly before arriving on at the Welland hospital site which was further away.

Niagara At Large has run news commentaries on this tragedy over the past two weeks which can be viewed by scrolling further down this page.

Below we are sharing a transcript of the letter Reilly’s parents sent to Dr. Andre McCallum, Chief Coroner of Ontario, requesting a public inquest.)

January 11, 2010

Dear Dr. McCallum

Re: Request for a Public Inquest into the Death of Reilly Anzovino. December 27th, 2009, Fort Erie. ON.

We, the parents of Reilly Anzovino, are writing to ask you to exercise your authority in conducting an inquest into the death of our daughter.

We fully support the request made by Mr. Kim Craitor, MPP in his letter of January 4, 2010. We have many questions relating to the death of our daughter. Our primary concern is whether time played a factor in her death.

We understand that on December 26th, 2009, it took 30 minutes to transport her from the accident site to the Welland hospital site and that she died shortly before arrival. While we understand that aggressive resuscitation was performed, we wonder if time was a factor in obtaining the blood transfusions needed to stabilize her condition while she was still alive.

We have questions regarding comments made that the ambulance ran out of oxygen which would have been critical given the nature of her injuries and resulting blood loss. The issue that arises that is of concern to us as her parents and of interest to the public is the need to determine whether the closer of the Douglas Memorial site and the Port Colborne site played a role in Reilly’s death given the extra time it took to transport her to Welland. Our hears ache with the “what ifs.”

What if Reilly could have been transported to Fort Erie or Port Colborne where she could have received the blood transfusions she needed while she was still alive? What if she could have been stabilized enough to airlift her to a trauma center like ECMC or Hamilton General? Could she still be alive today?

While we know that nothing will bring our daughter back, we need to know the answers to these questions. It is hard to find any peace without them. We remain concerned for other residents in our community (including many other family members) whose health and well-being may similarly be affected.

Thank you for your consideration of our request.

Sincerely, Tim Anzovino and Denise Kennedy.

(If you are a subscriber and received this post in a separate email, please visit Niagara At Large’s site by googling for other posts on this issue.)

4 responses to “Parents of Deceased Fort Erie Teen Call on Province for Public Inquest

  1. God Bless you Tim and Denise. Thank-you. Our very deepest sympathies on your crushing loss.


  2. I read this letter with a heavy heart but I want to thank Tim and Denise for demanding answers from a system that may have failed Reilly. With their help, others in the future may be spared their anguish.
    The Anzovinos give us renewed inspiration to continue our demands for accessible Health Services for all.


  3. I feel very strongly that all towns and cities should have a hospital facility capable of saving lives. Small communities such as Fort Erie need
    to have a local hospital,especially in an area where lake effects play havoc with road conditions and often make travel difficult. I truly believe that minutes spared can save a life.
    We are a growing community and require health care that is adequate for everyone. I support the
    family in making this inquest and feel that the NHS should stand up and take responsibility for their actions.


  4. The ancient Crowner (now coroner) was appointed by the King to “go out” and protect his people from tyrannical and corrupt barons. To investigate questionable deaths. NHS is a modern tyrannical bureaucracy and it will do all in its power to head off any thorough inquest that might implicate its own self. By that I mean it is not nearly enough to simply establish the immediate (traumatic hemorrhage) and proximate (motor vehicle accident) causes of death as is usual. The remote contributing factors to any “time-critical” death must also be a part of the investigation’s agenda. The major “remote contributing factor” in any southern tier “time-critical” death NOW is the Niagara Health System itself – that is, its retrogressive social action of shutting down remote Emergency Departments and so creating the setup for these deaths.


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