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Faulty brakes may have caused double fatal collision, court hears

SASKATOON, Sask. -- Faulty truck brakes, not dangerous driving or negligence, may have been responsible for a Saska...

SASKATOON, Sask. — Faulty truck brakes, not dangerous driving or negligence, may have been responsible for a Saskatoon collision in 2004, causing the deaths of two people, according to a story published by

“The surface of that brake lining tells you that it’s not efficient,” mechanic Del Gagnon testified Tuesday in court, as lawyers for Jeffrey Lamoureux began calling evidence in his ongoing trial on charges of dangerous driving and criminal negligence causing death.

“It’s very slick, like glass. It changes the friction characteristics of the brake lining.”

One by one, Gagnon held up four sets of brake linings from the gravel truck involved in the Aug. 17, 2004, collision at the intersection of Highway 5 and McOrmond Road, pointing out broad stripes of shiny “glazing” caused by heat on the brake shoes, as well as contamination from motor oil caused by valve leaks.

Lamoureux, 40, was hauling a load of asphalt eastbound on the highway during the morning rush hour, when the gravel truck he was driving broadsided a northbound van in the middle of the intersection. Blair Lewis McAleer, 49, was killed almost instantly. His son, 20-year-old Jeffrey Blair McAleer, died later in hospital.

The Crown contends Lamoureux had also seen the warning signal and tried to beat the red light, then slammed on the brakes, but was too late to stop before opposing traffic got a green light and surged into his path. However, Gagnon told court that based on his visual inspection without using any scientific testing or formulas the efficiency of the gravel truck’s brakes was likely only about 30% of what it should have been.

Lamoureux’s trial continues today.

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