News Local

Thom Transit trial postponed

By Ryan Paulsen, The Daily Observer


The family of Cynthia Kane, the Laurentian Valley woman who died as a result of head injuries sustained when she fell from the back of a moving Thom Transit bus in Pembroke in October of 2010, will have to wait a little longer to find out if the company, which serves as public transit in the city, will be held legally responsible for her death.

On Monday morning, Provincial Offences court heard from a lawyer representing Thom Transit that the trial dates set back in November of 2012 would not work since one of the lawyers from Toronto law firm Aird and Berliss working on the case will be observing Passover at the time.

Crown attorney Sam Humphrey argued that at the time that the trial dates were set, the defense team should have known that it would be Passover and could easily have notified the court and the crown at the time, but relented eventually and agreed to delay the trial, which was originally slated for three days last August.

The Gatineau-based company faces four offences under the Highway Traffic Act as a result of the 2010 incident: permitting operation of an unsafe commercial vehicle, operating an unsafe motor vehicle, as the registered owner failing to ensure the motor vehicle met the prescribed performance standards and failing to ensure the commercial motor vehicle met the prescribed performance standards.

Originally, a mechanic that worked on the vehicle in question also faced charges, but prosecutors have stayed those charges.

For Kane’s mother, Carollee Kane, the whole process just keeps piling up the frustration for her family, who travels to Pembroke from Ottawa for each court date.

“We’re frustrated,” she said after the ruling. “It’s been very, very hard on myself, my husband, her (Cynthia’s) sisters and her two sons. And we can’t understand why they have to drag it out. We’re just fed up.”

On Monday, Feb. 4, the two sides will meet again in the court room to firmly establish dates for a new trial, which Humphrey told the court he would like to see be “as soon as possible.”


Ryan Paulsen is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist.

Twitter: @PRyanPaulsen

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