Compelling testimony as Cassi Lam details moments before being struck
Published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 12:37PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 28, 2012 4:15PM EST
Compelling testimony in a Kitchener courtroom Tuesday as Cassi Lam detailed the moments before she was hit by a Grand River Transit bus last October.
The teen kept her composure and her head up during a tough cross examination while the man, who was behind the wheel at the time, sat quietly in the courtroom.
Rafael Quintanilla is charged with careless driving as a result of the roundabout collision. Cassi Lam was 16 when the collision occurred. She was on her way to high school at St. Mary’s. She was crossing Block Line at the Homer Watson roundabout.
Lam testified “the bus was coming and I couldn’t tell if it was turning. I put my hand out. I figured he would stop because I put my hand out.”
Stacey Stevens represents the Lam Family in a civil lawsuit against the bus driver, GRT, the Region of Waterloo and the City of Kitchener. “She watched for the bus, she knew where it was and saw the bus and she moved off that median when she felt it was safe to do so.”
But moments later Cassi Lam was struck by the bus. Lam told the court she was walking within the crosswalk. “As I was crossing the road I recalled getting closer to my destination. I was three quarters of the way and from there it all went black.”
The next thing she remembers is the emergency room in the hospital, having trouble speaking, hearing and seeing because of her injuries. Although she has returned to school, she says she still has issues with her studies. But she’s adamant she clearly recalls the circumstances leading up to the crash.
Stevens says “she’s made it clear from the beginning she has not had any memory issues with respect to recalling what happened that day and taken all together she was in the best position to see what was happening.”
Although there has been conflicting evidence as to where Lam was in the crosswalk when the collision occurred. The investigating police officer says measurements indicate she was just over two meters into the roadway when the bus struck her. Constable Tim Boniface says the bus was travelling at some where between 19 and 30 kilometers per hour when Lam was struck.
The trial continues Wednesday.
The investigating officer is expected back on the stand, but the case may come to a halt. A number of legal issues must be dealt with and it’s possible that may put the trial on hold until sometime in the new year.
Sixteen-year-old Cassi Lam, who was seriously injured in a collision at a Kitchener roundabout, is seen in this undated family handout photo.
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