A new survey finds Saanich residents feel less safe when using local roads, a perception likely shaped by incidents like the December 2017 collision on Ash Road that has left now 12-year-old girl Leila Bui in an unresponsive state. (Black Press Media file photo)

Judge’s decision set for January in dangerous driving trial for crash that left Saanich girl unresponsive

Tenessa Nikirk is charged with one count of dangerous driving after Leila Bui was struck in 2017

On Jan. 27, 2020, a judge will determine the fate of a North Saanich woman charged in connection to a crash that left an 11-year-old girl severely debilitated and non-responsive.

The trial for Tenessa Nikirk, charged with one count of dangerous driving, took place from Nov. 25 to Dec. 3 in the Victoria courthouse. Now 13, Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit by a dark-coloured SUV on her way to school on the morning of Dec. 20, 2017.

Steven Kachanoski, witnessed a motorist strike Bui in a Saanich crosswalk and told the courts he watched the little girl get thrown towards his car before sliding, on her back, and coming to rest next to his driver’s side door.

RELATED: Court hears of motorist’s erratic driving before 11-year-old girl struck in Saanich crosswalk

Another witness described being tailgated by a dark SUV as she drove to work at the University of Victoria that morning. Samantha Etzel testified that the driver was following her so closely she couldn’t see the front of the car.

“I seen the driver constantly looking up and down as if they were texting,” she told the court. “It was a female driver, she had her hair up, sort of in a bun.”

Adam Cybanski, a velocity expert, examined four dash cam videos provided to him by Saanich police; two from one car that were pointed out the front and the back windows, along with two videos taken from cameras on a bus, which faced out the front and left side.

RELATED: VIDEO: Lawyer says SUV that hit Leila Bui was going 53 km/h at point of impact

Using two software programs to track stationary objects such as telephone poles or yellow centre lines in the video, Cybanski was able to create a model match of the scene. A video shown in court on Nov. 27, created by Cybanski, showed yellow and green models superimposed that matched the cars and points of reference in the original footage.

According to Cybanski’s findings, the rear-facing camera in the vehicle showed the SUV accelerating from 50 km/h to 90 km/h and the forward-facing camera showed the SUV accelerating from 95 km/h to 100 km/h. He testified his calculations were accurate within two km/h.

Nirkirk’s defence lawyer asserts that the evidence shows she was driving close to 53 km/h at the point of impact. Tom Morino told the courts on Dec. 3 that Nikirk’s speed was not a departure from the norm citing an engineering report that showed the usual speed of vehicles travelling through that intersection is around 50 km/h.

At the time of the crash, a text message came in on Nikirk’s phone but no evidence was presented to show whether she had opened it or not, along with no evidence to show if she was using the hands-free feature on her device.

Jess Patterson, Crown prosecutor, argued that Nikirk was engaged in a texting conversation prior to the crash because she was responding quickly to the messages. Nikirk’s phone was not seized at the time of the crash.

The judge is scheduled to render her decision on Jan. 27 in Victoria provincial court.

With files from Nina Grossman



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Myla Bui snuggles with her sister Leila. (GoFundMe)

Just Posted

COVID-19 case confirmed at downtown Victoria 7-Eleven

Employee tests positive, company warns of possible exposure risk between Aug. 10 and 14

Mount Newton Centre pivots to keep serving seniors

Peninsula non-profit in need of iPads to stay connected

Rare white orca spotted hunting off shores of Alaska for first time

Tl’uk seems healthy and strong, says researcher

Mental health challenges add to youth stress load

Part 2 in a Black Press series on Youth Homelessness

Langford bike park rolling along to completion

New park a tribute to Jordie Lunn’s legacy

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Unofficial holidays: here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Aug. 16 to 22

World Photography Day, Black Cat Appreciation Day and Rum Day all coming up this week

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Most Read