Major could have avoided crash had he not been speeding, analyst testifies
The man accused in a fatal crash could have stopped in time had he been driving the speed limit, an RCMP crash analyst testified Friday.
The testimony is part of the Robert Major trial. Major was driving a pick-up when it T-boned a semi on Highway 16. Major’s girlfriend, 26, and two of his sons, aged four and nine, died in the crash.
According to data collected from Major’s truck, he had been travelling 137 kilometres per hour along a grid road and 118 kilometres per hour when his truck collided with the semi, Cpl. Douglas Green testified.
Major’s truck pushed the semi and its cargo 83 metres from the point of impact into the north ditch. As it slammed into the first pivot point on the semi, it became embedded between the first and second trailer the semi was hauling.
The data show Major stepped on the brake one second before the crash, when he was already crossing the eastbound lanes. When he stepped on the brake he was 40 meters from the semi.
The posted speed on the grid road is 80 kilometres per hour. Had Major been driving the speed limit he would have been able to slow down in time to avoid the semi altogether, Green said.
Had Major started at 80 kilometres per hour, hit the brake at the same point and still collided with the semi, he would have done so at 55 kilometres per hour, Green said. Green couldn’t say what sort of damage or injuries would have been suffered in this scenario.
Major’s defence team focused on the fact that a stop sign at the intersection had previously been knocked down, but Green said the speed of Major’s truck and his failure to slow down in time caused the crash.
Green also testified that it appeared Major and his girlfriend, who was in the front passenger seat, did not have their seatbelts buckled.
Langham Fire Chief Bill McCoombs told court that during the extrication of the passengers, no one had a seatbelt on; no passenger was found in a sitting position; and no seatbelts needed to be cut for extrication.
Because the truck was so embedded in the trailers of the semi, emergency crews had to cut the back of the truck open and tear the roof off the truck to access the passengers inside.
Major faces 12 charges including negligence and dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm. The Crown is expected to wrap up its case Monday at Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench.