A homeowner who allegedly ran over a car parked in an asphalt roll was found guilty Wednesday of dangerous driving causing bodily harm, but his lawyer says his client is appealing.
In a decision that was delayed in the city’s court of appeal, the judge dismissed a criminal charge that would have put the man behind bars for more than 20 years.
“This case is about a man who was on the side of law and on the right side of history,” said defence lawyer Robert Schleicher.
“It was a collision of legal principles.”
The judge said the city has jurisdiction over the matter because it’s the former owner of the car involved.
Schleich said he hopes the court will overturn the conviction, which the city could have appealed to a higher court.
The collision happened on July 25, 2016, when a car travelling southbound on St. Clair Avenue struck a pickup truck parked on the pavement.
A single pedestrian died and two people were seriously injured.
The city’s criminal negligence prosecution team argued the collision was a “grossly negligent act” that led to the death of the pedestrian.
The defence team said the car had the right of way in a parking lot and the truck had the wrong of way.
The court heard that Schleican was on his way to his job as a security guard when the collision happened.
He was also working a security job that day, so he didn’t have the opportunity to react.
The trial judge said there was “no evidence” to support the city charging Schleica with dangerous driving.
“The defendant’s conduct was grossly negligent,” he said.
Schlich’s lawyer, Marc Fournier, told the judge the man was not distracted, that he was not intoxicated, that his car had just rolled over and that the collision did not happen out of the blue.
The accident occurred on the eastbound side of St. George Street, just south of York Street.
The judge did not set a price, but he said the man could have avoided a costly legal battle by not using his cellphone.
He said the collision took place on the sidewalk, but Schlich said the truck was parked on its side.
“He had his foot on the brake,” Fourner said.
“His eyes were closed.”
Fourniers defence team argued that Schlich should not have been prosecuted because he was a member of the public, not the driver of the truck.
The case was delayed because the trial was held in a small courtroom, and the judge’s order to adjourn the case to allow for a verdict to be delivered is expected to be released later this week.
The sentencing hearing is expected on Thursday.