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Tracey Anne Millsop’s untimely death on May 3, 2018 never made the news until now.

Mother of two children. Known for helping others, whether as a teacher’s aide or shovelling snow. Married to Fonze Latourelle, they spent their free time boating and exploring the outdoors as a family, online photos show.

It was on a Thursday that Millsop, 47, went to help a friend, Cory Peters, clear debris from an interior demolition job he supervised on Cambridge Street South in Ottawa.

Millsop and her husband followed their friend Peters to the site, where they were to help remove debris from the demolition of the three-storey duplex.

The sheathing on the first floor had been removed and there was a makeshift pathway built with wooden planks. According to Ontario Health and Safety Act charges, which have yet to be publicly broadcast, the planks were different lengths and placed overlapped. The planks didn’t cover the width of the gaps between the floor joists, meaning there were openings.

It was on this unsafe pathway that Millsop fell through the open gap between two joists.

She hit her ribs on a joist and remained conscious after the fall. Her friends helped her to her feet and she said she didn’t want to go to the hospital, so they left Ottawa and her husband started driving home to Gatineau. But when she lost consciousness, he drove her to Gatineau hospital where she died from her injuries.

The coroner concluded Millsop died because her ribs punctured her liver.

The temporary flooring at the construction site was not secured properly and didn’t actually cover the open area, which left the joists exposed, according to a Ministry of Labour report.

Peters, a friend of Millsop, was charged under the Ontario Health and Safety Act with failing to ensure a protective covering over the open work surface, and is expected to plead guilty to the non-criminal charge.

“My client, Mr. Peters, feels horribly about the entire situation and the loss of his friend. He is expected to take full responsibility,” said defence lawyer Joshua Clarke.

While Peters is expected to plead guilty in 2020 and likely be ordered to pay a fine, his employer, Sucasa Construction Corp. has pleaded not guilty and will take the case to trial.

“This employee (Peters) was not acting on behalf of my client (Sucasa) and we are fighting the charge,” said defence lawyer Bruce Engel.

The workplace-safety charge against Sucasa has not been tested in court.