Ontario Criminal


Motor Vehicles

CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE CAUSING DEATH

Convictions for criminal negligence causing death or bodily harm upheld on appeal

Trial judge convicted accused of three counts of criminal negligence causing death or bodily harm for high-speed crash where passengers died. Accused had engaged in intentional high-speed driving while egged on by passengers and failed to negotiate curve in rural road. Passenger testified about accused’s pattern of intentional high speeding. Crown called expert about pattern of speeding and crucial curve speed. Accused testified car forced off road by oncoming vehicle. Trial judge rejected accused’s evidence and concluded he engaged in wanton pattern of high-speed driving without regard for lives of passengers. Appeal from conviction dismissed. Trial judge did not err in accepting evidence of passenger after considering difficulties and inconsistencies with evidence. Absent palpable and overriding error no basis for appeal court to interfere. Trial judge did not apply stricter standard of scrutiny to evidence of accused. Verdicts not unreasonable as conclusion of criminal negligence based on accused’s entire course of conduct while driving.

R. v. Laine (Jul. 9, 2015, Ont. C.A., John Laskin J.A., J. MacFarland J.A., and Paul Rouleau J.A., File No. CA C58184) 124 W.C.B. (2d) 270.

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