‘We thought we were going to lose her’: Parents of Saanich girl struck by vehicle speak outside trial
VICTORIA - The parents of a young Saanich girl who was struck by a vehicle in a crosswalk are trying to stay positive for their children as the trial for the woman accused of hitting their daughter entered its second day Tuesday.
Leila Bui was 11 years old when she was hit at the intersection of Ash Road and Torquay Drive in Saanich on the morning on Dec. 20, 2017.
She suffered what the Crown described in a Victoria courtroom as “catastrophic injuries” that left her with severe brain damage.
“It is hard, I am not going to say it is easy,” said her mother, Kairry Nguyen.
Tenessa Nikirk faces one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm in the Dec. 20, 2017 collision.
She has pleaded not guilty and the trial is expected to last eight days.
“We try really hard to keep strong,” said Nguyen. “It is hard to see her like that, not knowing how long it will be.”
Court heard from the lead investigator that Leila suffered a severe brain bleed, a neck fracture and lacerations to her spleen.
“At the beginning of this year she had a really awful time,” said Nguyen. “She was back in the hospital and there were moments where we thought we were going to lose her, but she keeps showing us don’t give up on me.”
Disturbing detais from witnesses allege Nikirk was driving a black SUV and speeding, texting and passing vehicles on a solid yellow line before the crash.
On Tuesday, the court heard from multiple witnesses, including one woman who claims to have seen the moment of impact.
“She was hit by the middle of the bumper," witness Xin Hao told the court. "She was punched by the car. She flew a few metres, about two vehicles behind me."
The witness also said that she didn’t think the black SUV tried to stop and that after the crash the driver “jumped” out of the vehicle and she heard “loud music” coming from the vehicle.
For now, the family is focusing their energy on being positive.
“She is going to be a teenager coming December 6, so we are planning a little birthday party with her friends,” said Nguyen.
A video velocity analyst is expected to appear in court on Wednesday to speak to the speed at which Nikirk was allegedly travelling.