NEWS

Ruth Burger trial, driver in fatal London Costco crash, wraps up in 2 days

06/03/2015 11:36 EDT | Updated 06/03/2016 05:59 EDT
The trial of Ruth Burger, the driver in the horrific crash at a south London Costco that resulted in the deaths of two of a young girl and a newborn baby girl last July has wrapped up after two days. 

Yesterday, 66-year-old Burger testified in a London, Ont. courtroom about the final moments that led up to the crash that killed six-year-old Addison Hall and her newborn sister, Rhiannon.

Burger is charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of negligence causing bodily harm.

Burger says that after backing up her car to leave, she tried to get out of reverse but her foot got stuck under the brake pedal and that the more she wiggled to free it, the faster she went.

She said she tried to control her car but then yelled, "oh no, oh no, oh no" before crashing into the Costco entranceway.

Burger struck Addison Hall, her three-year-old sister Miah Bozek, and their mother Danah McKinnon-Bozek, who was then eight months pregnant. McKinnon-Bozek was rushed to hospital for an emergency caesarian section and delivered baby Rhiannon, who passed away a week later in hospital. 

Verdict expected later this month

A police collision expert who testified on Monday said that the data recorder from the vehicle showed the gas pedal on Burger's car was at full throttle one second before the crash, and that she was travelling at 46 km/h. The brake wasn't applied in the seconds before the crash. 

The Crown argued there's no evidence to support Burger's foot getting caught. The Crown also challenged Burger for not taking evasive action to prevent a crash by doing something like throwing the car into park. Evidence presented at the trial showed Burger was wearing closed-toe, casual slip-on shoes.

Burger's lawyer, Ron Ellis, argued that Burger used every ounce of her energy, skill and ability to avoid hurting people, but she ran out of space and time.

He said it may never be clear why it happened, which he admits is difficult.

"I can only imagine how hard it is for the family. It's difficult for all of us I think," said Ellis.

Burger said she hasn't driven since the crash.

Justice Jonathon George will deliver his ruling on June 19.

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