There was no physical evidence that supported accused’s assertion of mechanical failure

Criminal Law – Offences against the person and reputation – Dangerous driving causing death

Accused and his friend were street racing on road with posted speed limit of 60 kph. Roads were clear and dry, and day was sunny. Accused lost control of his car at bend in road and struck lamp post, killing passenger in his car. Both accused and his friend were convicted of dangerous driving causing death. Main issue at trial was whether accused’s car had unexpected mechanical failure that made him unable to operate his car normally. Accused appealed conviction. Appeal dismissed. No mechanical inspection was done of accused’s car after crash. At time that witness to accident called 911, accused was heard asking witness whether wheel to his vehicle broke. Trial judge was entitled to squarely reject evidence of possible mechanical failure. Trial judge was entitled to disbelieve accused’s statement that he thought there was mechanical failure. Trial judge was entitled to find that there was no physical evidence that supported accused’s assertion of mechanical failure . Trial judge gave cogent reasons for finding that defence expert was unreliable.

R. v. Williams (2020), 2020 CarswellOnt 1137, 2020 ONCA 30, Eileen E. Gillese J.A., Paul Rouleau J.A., and Fairburn J.A. (Ont. C.A.).

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