Lawyer for woman accused of dangerous driving says unclear if child was seen before collision
Accident victim Leila Bui. (CTV Vancouver Island)
Tenessa Nikirk's lawyer says his client slowed down from 80 km/h to 53 km/h when she struck Leila Bui, 11, in a crosswalk on Dec. 20, 2017.
Tom Marino also suggested Nikirk couldn't see Leila because she was hidden by a car waiting to turn onto Ash Road from Torquay Drive.
Judge Mayland McKimm stated to Marino that all the witnesses who gave evidence said Leila looked both ways before entering the crosswalk. Marino told the court "there is no definitive answer if Leila was obscured by the car."
Nikirk has pleaded not guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm in the collision.
McKimm said he also was concerned whether Leila could be seen, but Nikirk was texting, speeding and passing where she shouldn’t be passing.
A video expert hired by police previously testified that Nikirk's SUV was travelling in excess of 100 km/h before the crash and came to a stop about 18 to 20 metres beyond where it struck the girl.
In his final submission, Marino argued that while Nikirk's vehicle was speeding in excess of 100 km/h in a 50 km/h zone and crossed the centre line to pass two vehicles before the collision, she returned to the correct lane 580 metres before Bui was struck.
He also suggested Nikirk was travelling at 53 km/h when she struck Bui. Marino called the collision an "inevitable accident" and insists the roads were icy at the time of the crash.
Crown prosecutor Jess Patterson did not agree with the defence's position that the collision was inevitable.
Patterson said the accused was driving in way that was dangerous. He said Nikirk was tailgating, passing in a dangerous manner, speeding and was texting prior to the crash.
Patterson went on the say that a prudent driver would have seen the four cars that were stopped at the intersection of Ash Road and Torquay Drive. He said the four vehicles were travelling at zero km/h and Nikirk's SUV was going over 50 k/hr.
Leila, now 12 years old, suffered what the Crown described in court as "catastrophic injuries," including a permanent brain injury, broken neck and ruptured spleen in the crash.
The trial concluded Tuesday with final submissions from the defence and the Crown.
The judge will give his decision early in the new year.