Judge finds driver in Brampton crash that killed mom and 3 daughters had drugs in her system; drove dangerously into a separate incident two days earlier

Judge finds driver in Brampton crash that killed mom and 3 daughters had drugs in her system; drove dangerously into a separate incident two days earlier

A judge found that a man who pleaded guilty to four counts of dangerous driving causing death in an accident in Brampton that killed a mother and her three daughters had exceeded the legal limit for THC in his blood on the day of the collision, but reserved judgment as to whether his ability to drive was impaired.

It was on June 18 of last year that Karolina Ciasullo, 36, and her three daughters – Klara, six, Lilianna, three, and Mila, one – were driving near Torbram Road and Countryside Drive. when struck by an Infiniti G35. All four died as a result of the accident.

The driver, Brady Robertson, pleaded guilty to four counts of dangerous driving causing death.

However, he pleaded not guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death. His lawyers have also launched a constitutional challenge to the law regarding drug impairment.

In a ruling on Tuesday, Judge Sandra Caponecchia said she was certain Robertson had an unknown amount of THC and the sedative flubromazolam in his system when he last drove on June 18, 2020. However, she did. said she was unsure if the Crown had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that one or both of the drugs in her blood interfered in any degree with her ability to drive.

A toxicologist testified in court that flubromazolam is a drug that can impair a person’s ability to drive, but the effect on any person depends on dosage and individual tolerance. The drug can also be detected in the blood a few days after its use.

Caponecchia discovered that Robertson had consumed an unknown amount of cannabis between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on the morning of the accident, but said it was not clear whether he was feeling the ill effects of the drug when he caused the collision around 12:15 p.m.

The court heard that 45 minutes after the collision, Robertson had 40 ng / ml of THC in his blood, while current law does not allow more than 5 ng / ml two hours after driving.

Robertson’s lawyers argued that the current law is not a good indication of impairment.

“In summary, the toxicological evidence in this case establishes that Mr. Robertson had an unknown amount of flubromazolam and TCH in his blood when he was last driven on June 18, 2020. It does not go so far as to prove that the drugs were necessarily altering. Mr. Robertson’s ability to drive, ”Caponecchia wrote in a copy of the decision obtained by CP24.

She also weighed other factors, such as Robertson’s presentation at the scene, motive for dangerous driving, evidence of driving and poor judgment.

“It is my overall assessment that Mr. Robertson’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was likely and most likely impaired by drugs on June 18, 2020. Yet such a conclusion is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. », Wrote the judge.

While Caponecchia delayed a decision on the impaired driving causing death charges pending constitutional challenge, she found him guilty of dangerous driving in connection with an incident at Caledon two days before June 16.

Dashcam footage shown in court showed the driver of a car moving slowly north on Kennedy Road, exiting its lane and driving through the intersection without stopping for a stop sign on Dougall Avenue around 8:25 p.m.

“The suspicious vehicle climbs onto the sidewalk and crashes into planters and two garbage cans outside a cafe on the northeast corner of Kennedy Rd and Dougall Ave. “, Wrote the judge in her decision.

As passers-by tried to get the driver’s attention, thinking he might have suffered a medical episode, he put the car in reverse and took off.

Shortly thereafter at 8:47 p.m., an officer dispatched to the cafe incident noticed that a driver matching the description was heading east on King Street.

As he pursued the vehicle, the officer noticed that he was widening his lead, even as it approached 130 kilometers per hour.

“At one point, the officer noticed that the driver of the suspect vehicle was driving on the gravel shoulder for a few seconds, creating dust. The officer also noticed that the driver was entering the oncoming traffic lane for a few seconds to pass another vehicle, ”the judge noted.

The officer eventually halted the pursuit for public safety reasons.

“In this case, I am convinced that the constellation of circumstantial evidence only lends itself to one reasonable conclusion, namely that on June 16, 2020, it was Mr. Robertson driving his newly purchased Infiniti with the license plate. registration of his aunt, ”he added. the judge wrote, concluding that it was the same car in both places.

Arguments are expected to continue in the case tomorrow.


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