MANDEL: No evidence driver impaired in crash that killed four, court hears

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Moments after T-boning an SUV in a horrific crash that killed a mom and her three little girls, driver Brady Robertson was wailing that he was going to die.

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But after surgery and hospital treatment, the 20-year-old would survive. His four victims would not be as fortunate.

Driver Karolina Ciasullo, 36, and her daughters — Klara, 6, Lilianna, 4, and Mila, 1 — were fatally injured in the June 18, 2020 crash.

Robertson pleaded guilty this week to four counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, but not guilty to impaired operation by drugs causing death.

At Robertson’s judge-alone trial, Peel Regional Police Const. David Salvatore described a chaotic scene just minutes after the crash at Countryside Dr. and Torbram Rd. in Brampton.

Court has heard Robertson was trying to outrun an officer that had tried to stop him for a missing front licence plate when he reached speeds of at least 134 km/h — and perhaps as high as 167/km — on Countryside Dr.

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When the two lanes ahead of him had cars stopped for a red light, Robertson swerved around them and right into the path of Ciasullo and her daughters entering the intersection on a green.

“It was one of the most severe calls I’ve ever been on,” recalled Salvatore, a veteran 18-year officer.

He saw a woman being treated for severe trauma inside a white SUV that had been slammed into a light pole, which had then snapped and fallen on the vehicle.

He saw other officers trying to save the dying children inside.

No one was tending to the man screaming in pain as he lay across the traffic median. Salvatore went to help him.

Bystanders told him Robertson had been ejected from a blue Infiniti. The officer could tell he’d suffered severe injuries to his legs with his “bones popped out of his thighs.”

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He didn’t ask about drugs or alcohol, he explained. He didn’t even know if he was one of the drivers involved in the collision.

He just tried to calm him down and keep him conscious by asking him questions. But Robertson, he said, kept screaming that he was going to die.

When Peel paramedic Alexander Lowell arrived at the crash, he saw an SUV into a downed light standard, a young child being carried to the back of an ambulance, and a woman receiving CPR.

He was called to help out with Robertson.

The young man was crying out in pain and seemed confused and agitated when questioned, he said. Asked if he saw any signs of his being impaired by drugs or alcohol, Lowell explained it would be hard to differentiate between intoxication and someone suffering from a concussion.

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He assumed Robertson’s confusion was due to a potential head injury from the collision.

Advanced Peel paramedic Eryn Smith made the same assumption. Robertson could give his name, but not where he was or what had happened. Unless they kept asking him questions, she testified, he would drift off and would be increasingly more difficult to rouse.

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His injuries were serious, she said. “His legs were bending in places legs should not bend.”

Smith decided to take him to the nearest hospital — Brampton Civic. He was then transferred to St. Mike’s in Toronto where he underwent surgery.

According to an agreed statement, blood samples taken from Robertson at both hospitals showed a high level of THC as well as a sedative. The St. Mike’s sample also indicated the presence of fentanyl.

  1. Special Investigations Unit officers investigate a multiple car collision at the intersection at Torbram Rd. and Countryside Dr. In Brampton on June 18, 2020. A woman and her three children were killed.

    MANDEL: The selfishness of admitted dangerous driver in crash that killed mom and three daughters

  2. Special Investigation Unit officers investigate a collision at the intersection at Torbram Rd. and Countryside Dr. In Brampton on Thursday June 18, 2020.

    Accused in Brampton crash that killed mom, three girls was impaired by drugs: Cops

Marijuana and four pills — at least one testing positive for fentanyl — were seized by police from the glove box of his car.

His lawyer plans to argue the drug evidence should be excluded due to a violation of Robertson’s Charter rights.

The trial resumes Friday with testimony from a toxicologist from the Centre of Forensic Sciences.

mmandel@postmedia.com

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