A collision reconstructionist told a Saskatoon jury Robert Major’s pickup truck was travelling nearly 140 kilometres per hour seconds before striking a semi-truck pulling two trailers loaded with vehicles.
A report referenced by RCMP Cpl. Douglas Green Friday concluded the speed of Major’s Dodge Ram and his failure to stop before Highway 16 near Langham, Sask., caused the Feb. 22, 2016, collision.
Green said data pulled from the pickup showed that five seconds prior to the crash, the Ram was moving at 137 kilometres per hour, before the driver applied the brake and the truck slowed down to 118 km/h at the time of impact.
The front portion of the pickup truck became wedged between the semi’s power unit and its first trailer. The bed was sheared off, landing in the highway median.
There were no tire marks from the Ram visible on the highway, Green said.
Weather, road conditions and mechanical conditions of the vehicles weren’t factors in the crash, according to Green.
Major’s girlfriend, 26-year-old Kimberly Oliverio was pronounced dead on scene, along with two of the driver’s sons: Theodore Cardinal, 9, and Brenden Major, 4.
Kimberly Oliverio, 26, Theodore Cardinal, 9, and Brenden Major, 4, died in a crash on Highway 16 on Feb. 22, 2016.
Major, another man and two children survived the crash.
The accused faces three counts each of criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
The reconstructionist also presented multiple scenarios showing what would have happened if Major was driving the speed limit – 80 kilometres per hour – on Range Road 3083.
If Major applied the brakes at 80 kilometres per hour after entering the intersection, the collision still would have happened, but the result would be less destructive, the RCMP official said.
His speed in that scenario would have been 55 km/h at impact, according to the analysis.
Robert Major (right) was driving a Dodge Ram west of Saskatoon when it collided with a semi truck on Highway 16.
If Major was moving at the speed limit, but stepped on the brakes before reaching the highway, the crash never would have happened because the freight-liner would have passed the intersection, Green stated.
He also noted a stop sign on the southeast corner of the intersection was knocked down prior to the collision.
According to the reconstructionist, seat belts that would have restrained Major and a front passenger weren’t used prior to the crash.
The seat belts in the back of the pickup were cut when first responders worked to pull people from the wreckage, so Green couldn’t examine the restraints, he said.
Dalmeny Fire and Rescue Captain Brian Hyland took the stand, detailing the painstaking process to extract seven people from the Ram.
With the floorboard pushed up and the sides pushed in, first responders had to enter the truck through the rear of the cab.
“No victims were found seated,” Hyland testified, a sentiment echoed by Langham Fire Department chief Bill McCombs.
The Crown has argued none of the seven people in the Ram were wearing seat belts and Major was using his cell phone as he travelled northbound on the grid road.
Court also heard testimony from Scott Eckel, Major’s coworker who survived the crash, but doesn’t remember what happened.
Testimony in Major’s trial is scheduled to continue Monday before concluding Friday.
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