fa­tal crash re­called

Mother tells court of mo­ment daugh­ter struck by truck

Calgary Sun - - NEWS - @KMart­inCourts Kevin Martin kmartin@post­media.com

Cal­gary mom Sa­man­tha Toulon watched in hor­ror as a pickup truck ran over and killed her lit­tle daugh­ter in a Bowness in­ter­sec­tion, court heard Wednesday.

Toulon, 41, said she and her fam­ily, her hus­band Craig and their six chil­dren, in­clud­ing daugh­ter Avayah (Avi), were just re­turn­ing home on May 6, 2016, from an out­ing to the river when they were cross­ing 47 Ave. at 79 St. N.W.

Toulon said her el­dest child, 13-year-old Carlo, had cleared the in­ter­sec­tion while her mid­dle chil­dren, aged nine, eight, seven and 41/2-year-old Avi, were still cross­ing when she saw a truck ap­proach.

“I then screamed ‘stop’ and as I screamed ‘stop’ the truck didn’t slow down,” she tes­ti­fied.

“At that point my eight-yearold screamed ‘Avi, run,’” Toulon told pro­vin­cial court Judge Josh Hawkes.

“Avayah turned, stopped, put her hands in the air and was struck,” she said.

“I saw my daugh­ter go un­der the front wheel and un­der the sec­ond wheel, be dragged un­der ... she went straight un­der the front wheel.”

Cal­gar­ian Ta­nis Lam­bert is on trial, charged with care­less driv­ing un­der the Traf­fic Safety Act.

At the start of the trial Crown pros­e­cu­tor Rose Green­wood with­drew a charge of driv­ing with­out in­sur­ance, say­ing de­fence lawyer Alain Hep­ner had es­tab­lished his client was in­sured at the time.

Toulon said four of her chil­dren, in­clud­ing Avayah, were on the road­way when her daugh­ter was hit and tes­ti­fied the Ford F-150 had crossed into the east­bound lane while head­ing west on 47 Ave.

Toulon said after the col­li­sion her hus­band let go of their dog and raced to their daugh­ter while she called 911.

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, Hep­ner asked Toulon if it was pos­si­ble the truck stopped and then started mov­ing again, be­fore the col­li­sion. “If I sug­gest to you it stopped in the mid­dle of the in­ter­sec­tion, what would you say to that?” the lawyer asked.

“I’d say you’re ly­ing,” said Toulon.

But neigh­bour Steven Stredulin­sky said he watched the ve­hi­cle stop be­fore it started to move again.

Stredulin­sky, who has since moved to Ed­mon­ton, told Green­wood he could see a large group of kids on the road­way.

“They came to a stop in the in­ter­sec­tion,” the wit­ness said.

“They came to a stop roughly three quar­ters of the way through the in­ter­sec­tion,” Stredulin­sky said. “I could see a few of the kids over the top of the hood of he truck.”

He didn’t see the lit­tle girl, but wit­nessed the col­li­sion.

“The truck started mov­ing again and that’s when the truck made kind of a weird move­ment — the front popped up,” he said. “As I got onto the road the I saw the back of the truck go up and down.”

Stredulin­sky told Hep­ner he be­lieved the pickup had stopped to let the chil­dren cross be­fore mov­ing for­ward again.

“That was my im­pres­sion. It had stopped to let peo­ple go.”

Un­der the TSA the maximum pun­ish­ment for care­less driv­ing is a $2,000 fine.

Lam­bert’s trial is con­tin­u­ing.

MikE drEW/Post­mediA

Cal­gary po­lice traf­fic in­ves­ti­ga­tors at the scene of a fa­tal col­li­sion in­volv­ing a child pedes­trian at 79 St. and 47 Ave. N.W. in May 2016.

AvAyAh touLoN

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