Montreal student on trial for crash that killed riders

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A Montreal woman is on trial over charges of criminal negligence and dangerous driving after a crash that killed two motorcyclists in June, 2010.

Supposedly, the crash started when Emma Czornobaj, a student, stopped her Honda Civic in the left lane (some reports say she pulled to the left shoulder) to help some baby ducks cross the road to safety. She claims she flipped her hazard lights on when she pulled over, but the incident ended in tragedy when 50-year-old Andre Roy and his 16-year-old daughter Jessie, who was riding pillion, crashed into the rear of the car and died of their injuries.

Roy’s wife, who was following on her own motorcycle, has claimed the hazard lights were not on when she went to the scene of the accident. Another witness confirmed that report.

The trial has already featured testimony from several car drivers who said they were startled by Czornobaj’s move. The Edmonton Journal says it’ll be a three-week jury trial, with 10 men and two women sitting on the jury. If convicted, she could face a life sentence on the criminal negligence charge, and the dangerous driving causing death charge could get her up to 14 years, although the Journal says that isn’t likely.

3 COMMENTS

  1. There is a pervasive attitude among riders that we blame everything on the cagers regardless of the how stupid our antics are. Don’t forget that she didn’t slam on her brakes in front of them. She stopped in a live lane, a stupid move, but you have to wonder where the rider’s head was at that he didn’t notice that he was closing on this car FAST! The rider may have been distracted or riding beyond his skill level. Usually in rear end accidents the vehicle in the rear is deemed to be at fault. The car driver bares some responsibility but not all. It’s just a shame that lives were lost. My heart goes out to the family for their loss but that doesn’t mean the rider doesn’t bare some of the responsibility for his actions.

  2. If she even gets convicted, I’ll be surprised if she gets much more than a slap on the wrist. About the only way anyone ever gets punished fairly severely (relative to the crime) is for DUI or stunting/racing. From what I’ve seen, as long as you’re not DUI or speeding, you can drive like a complete moron and cause deaths without getting more than a minor punishment.

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