accident waiting to happen" is what a truckdriver recalled
thinking June 7, 2000, when he saw a police cruiser straddling
a busy Canadian highway, a court was told earlier this week.
George Dorner testified at the dangerous driving trial for fellow
trucker Terry DeMerchant that he and other truckers on his CB
radio were fearful when they drove past three cruisers and a
civilian car stopped at the side of Highway 401 in Ontario.
The officers were involved with a "high-risk" arrest
of an armed robbery suspect.
first impression when I saw it was there's an accident waiting
to happen," said Dorner. Moments later, DeMerchant's semi
rear-ended Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Marg Eve's cruiser
and began a chain-reaction crash that killed Eve and seriously
injured two other OPP officers and two civilians.
of Ste. Agathe, Quebec, has pleaded not guilty to one count
of dangerous driving causing death and four counts of dangerous
driving causing bodily harm.
told the court he could see the cruiser's flashing lights as
he approached. He heard other truckers on the CB say to move
over to the passing lane.
another truck, Dorner said he couldn't see ahead because the
back of the truck acted as a "billboard" and obstructed
his view. "I couldn't see it until I was right on top of
the scene," he said.
motorist testified he was surprised to see the cruiser straddling
the road. "It stunned me for a second because you don't
expect to see anything on the road." A few miles down the
road, he saw several police cars quickly heading the opposite
direction. "I knew exactly what had happened."