Toronto woman previously stuck in Cuba makes it back for son’s funeral
Published Saturday, February 8, 2014 12:08PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 8, 2014 7:26PM EST
A Canadian woman who was detained in Cuba after her son was killed in a scooter accident was able to attend the three-year-old’s funeral in Toronto Saturday.
Justine Davis’s son, Cameron, was killed six weeks ago on the island of Cayo Largo. The mother and son were riding on a scooter when it collided with a truck, killing Cameron and injuring Davis.
Davis joined family and friends at a west Toronto church Saturday to remember and honour her son.
Cuban law enforcement officials initially told Davis she wouldn’t be allowed to leave the country while they investigated the accident. But Canadian officials intervened on Davis’s behalf, asking Cuban officials to allow her to leave the country so she could properly lay Cameron to rest.
Friends and family members confirmed to CTV Kitchener that Davis arrived back in Canada on Friday, after being forbidden to leave Cuba for the past six weeks.
Cameron’s body was embalmed in Cuba and flown to Canada on Jan. 18, and Davis says her family had tried to postpone the funeral as long as they could. But because of sub-standard embalming techniques in Cuba, the family felt it had to go ahead with the funeral on Feb. 8.
“This has been a total nightmare,” Davis told CTVNews.ca on Wednesday in a phone interview from a Havana hospital, before she’d been permitted to leave. “I just can’t imagine not being allowed to go. I’m his mother.”
A family spokesperson said they have been told the investigation into the accident is closed and that Davis does not have to return to Cuba.
According to a travel website set up by the Canadian government, traffic accidents in Cuba resulting in death or injury are treated as crimes, with surviving victims as the primary suspects. The website also states that it can take five months to a year for a case to go to trial, and that in most cases, the driver is not permitted to leave the country until a trial has occurred.
With files from CTV Kitchener