June 4, 2014 5:39 pm
Updated: June 9, 2014 4:13 pm

Defence attorney suggests victim partly to blame for fatal crash; suspect stopped car for ducks


MONTREAL – Prosecutors in Montreal believe Emma Czornobaj made a huge mistake in June 2010 when she stopped her car on the left lane of a major highway – to help some ducks.

A motorcycle slammed into the car, killing 50-year-old Andre Roy and his 16-year-old daughter Jessie.

Defence attorney Marc Labelle believes there is more to the story.

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On Wednesday, he made a suggestion in court that victim Andre Roy was riding at an excessive speed – possibly driving as fast as 129 kilometres an hour. The limit on that stretch of Highway 30 near Candiac is 100 km/h.

Legal analysts say Labelle appears to be planting a seed with the jury that Czornobaj may only be partially responsible for the accident.

Pauline Volikakis is the victims’ wife and mother. She was riding on a second motorcycle nearby.

In court Wednesday, Volikakis flatly rejected the defence’s hypothesis. She testified she and her husband were riding “about 80 to 85 kilometres an hour.”

Coroner Dr. Sylvie Dragon also took the stand Wednesday. She told the court the cause of death for both victims was “road-related multiple trauma.”

The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case sometime early next week – Monday at the earliest.

The defence remains tight-lipped regarding its strategy.

As it stands now, there is no confirmation if 25-year-old Czornobaj will take the stand in her own defence. By law, she’s not obliged to.


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