Verdict in case of Saanich girl struck in crosswalk to be delivered Jan. 27

Verdict in case of Saanich girl struck in crosswalk to be delivered Jan. 27
File photo
Tenessa Nikirk outside the Victoria courthouse on Nov. 25, 2019.

A judge is expected to deliver his decision on Jan. 27 in the case of a Saanich girl struck in a crosswalk.

Tenessa Nikirk, who is in her early 20s, is charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk was behind the wheel of a black Mercedes SUV when she struck then 11-year-old Leila Bui at a crosswalk on Ash Road at the intersection of Torquay Drive on Dec. 20, 2017. Bui suffered catastrophic injuries including severe brain damage, a fractured neck and lacerated spleen.

READ MORE: ‘An inevitable accident’: Lawyer argues woman who struck Saanich girl in crosswalk couldn’t see her

Final arguments in the case concluded last week. Defence lawyer Tom Morino called the crash an “inevitable accident.” He told the courts that Nikirk’s reaction time was hindered because, as one witness recounted, Bui ran into the crosswalk and that Nikirk’s view of the child was obscured because a vehicle was stopped on Torquay.

He said: “she could not possibly have stopped in time to avoid the collision with Leila.”

Dashcam video from a witness driving on Ash Road that morning showed Nikirk’s black Mercedes SUV overtaking two vehicles, an expert witness estimating her speed at the time of the passing at 95 to 100 km/hour. Morino argues that what the video doesn’t show is Nikirk beginning to decelerate as she headed up the hill on Ash with calculations showing she was only driving about 50 km/hour when she struck Bui in the crosswalk.

Crown alleges Nikirk showed a pattern of troubling driving behaviour that morning including tailgating, excessive speeding, and texting behind the wheel. According to the Crown, Nikirk sent 11 text messages and received 13 texts in the 15 minutes before the crash.

Bui recently celebrated her 13th birthday. Her family was at the trial every day since it began late in November.



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