CHATHAM, Ont. — A crown witness testified a police cruiser parked partially on Hwy. 401 when it was struck by a truck killing the OPP officer was, “an accident waiting to happen.”
George Dorner, a driver with Chrysler Transport, was headed eastbound on the 401 near the Hwy. 40 overpass June 7, 2000, when he spotted a police cruiser parked partially on the road.
“The first police cruiser I saw was straddling the (shoulder) line,” says Dorner, referring to the cruiser belonging to OPP Sgt. Marg Eve, who was killed in the crash.
“My first impression was there’s an accident waiting to happen.”
In previous testimony, an OPP officer who reconstructed the accident said Eve’s cruiser took up about 1.1 metres of the right lane.
Terry DeMerchant, 28, of St. Agathe, Que., is on trial for five counts of dangerous driving, four counts causing bodily harm and one causing death, as his truck hit Eve’s cruiser, which touched off a chain reaction of three other accidents involving vehicles parked in front of it.
Two other officers and a civilian were seriously injured in the crash.
Seven witnesses who drove on the highway said flashing lights from at least one of the three cruisers involved were noticeable from about a kilometre away.
The witnesses also noted the weather was clear and traffic was light when the accident occurred.
Renee Geluk of Ridgetown who also drove past the scene before the accident reports the cruisers were parked “haphazardly.” The trial continues this week.
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