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)

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.

 

Myla Bui snuggles with her sister Leila. (GoFundMe)

Myla Bui snuggles with her sister Leila. (GoFundMe)

Just Posted

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

The Sooke Potholes is a jewel in the community's crown. Transition Sooke hosts a town hall meeting on community growth on June 26. (Courtesy: Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke forum tackles community growth

To Grow or Not to Grow online town hall meeting set for June 26

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Most Read