A new survey finds Saanich residents feel less safe when using local roads, a perception likely shaped by incidents like the December 2017 collision on Ash Road that has left now 12-year-old girl Leila Bui in an unresponsive state. (Black Press Media file photo)

Judge’s decision set for January in dangerous driving trial for crash that left Saanich girl unresponsive

Tenessa Nikirk is charged with one count of dangerous driving after Leila Bui was struck in 2017

On Jan. 27, 2020, a judge will determine the fate of a North Saanich woman charged in connection to a crash that left an 11-year-old girl severely debilitated and non-responsive.

The trial for Tenessa Nikirk, charged with one count of dangerous driving, took place from Nov. 25 to Dec. 3 in the Victoria courthouse. Now 13, Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit by a dark-coloured SUV on her way to school on the morning of Dec. 20, 2017.

Steven Kachanoski, witnessed a motorist strike Bui in a Saanich crosswalk and told the courts he watched the little girl get thrown towards his car before sliding, on her back, and coming to rest next to his driver’s side door.

RELATED: Court hears of motorist’s erratic driving before 11-year-old girl struck in Saanich crosswalk

Another witness described being tailgated by a dark SUV as she drove to work at the University of Victoria that morning. Samantha Etzel testified that the driver was following her so closely she couldn’t see the front of the car.

“I seen the driver constantly looking up and down as if they were texting,” she told the court. “It was a female driver, she had her hair up, sort of in a bun.”

Adam Cybanski, a velocity expert, examined four dash cam videos provided to him by Saanich police; two from one car that were pointed out the front and the back windows, along with two videos taken from cameras on a bus, which faced out the front and left side.

RELATED: VIDEO: Lawyer says SUV that hit Leila Bui was going 53 km/h at point of impact

Using two software programs to track stationary objects such as telephone poles or yellow centre lines in the video, Cybanski was able to create a model match of the scene. A video shown in court on Nov. 27, created by Cybanski, showed yellow and green models superimposed that matched the cars and points of reference in the original footage.

According to Cybanski’s findings, the rear-facing camera in the vehicle showed the SUV accelerating from 50 km/h to 90 km/h and the forward-facing camera showed the SUV accelerating from 95 km/h to 100 km/h. He testified his calculations were accurate within two km/h.

Nirkirk’s defence lawyer asserts that the evidence shows she was driving close to 53 km/h at the point of impact. Tom Morino told the courts on Dec. 3 that Nikirk’s speed was not a departure from the norm citing an engineering report that showed the usual speed of vehicles travelling through that intersection is around 50 km/h.

At the time of the crash, a text message came in on Nikirk’s phone but no evidence was presented to show whether she had opened it or not, along with no evidence to show if she was using the hands-free feature on her device.

Jess Patterson, Crown prosecutor, argued that Nikirk was engaged in a texting conversation prior to the crash because she was responding quickly to the messages. Nikirk’s phone was not seized at the time of the crash.

The judge is scheduled to render her decision on Jan. 27 in Victoria provincial court.

With files from Nina Grossman



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Myla Bui snuggles with her sister Leila. (GoFundMe)

Just Posted

Premier-elect John Horgan, during a visit in Sidney, broadly promised improvements to transit among other issues in the riding of Saanich North and the Islands, even after voters re-elected BC Green Adam Olsen as Member of the Legislative Assembly. (Black Press Media file photo)
Premier-elect John Horgan promises to work with all MLAs

Horgan says his government will pay attention to Saanich North and the Islands

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Bruce McLean, 91, has published his first novel, The Manana Treehouse, which is inspired by his wife’s experience with Alzheimer’s. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
91-year-old Saanich man publishes first novel based on wife’s Alzheimer’s experience

Former journalist Bruce McLean ‘on cloud nine’ after making fiction debut

The British Columbia flag flies at dusk in front of the B.C. legislature on election day 2020. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
NDP claims six out of seven Greater Victoria ridings after preliminary results

Mail-in ballots yet to be counted in provincial election

A new roundabout has been completed at the intersection of Peatt Road, Brock Avenue and Larkhall Road in Langford. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
New roundabout along Peatt Road completed in Langford

Allows for better turning movements for Langford’s fire trucks, improved safety

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read