October 12, 2017 3:45 pm
Updated: October 12, 2017 7:46 pm

Careless driving charge dropped in Bowness crash that killed 4-year-old girl

WATCH: The driver’s lawyer admits it’s unusual for a charge to be dropped mid-trial. Bindu Suri reports on what he calls ‘conflicting evidence.’


A charge against a Calgary driver in a crash that killed a little girl has been withdrawn mid-trial.

Tanis Lambert struck four year-old Avayah in May 2016 as she crossed the street with her parents and siblings in Bowness.

READ MORE: ‘I looked to make sure it was safe’ – Calgary mom of 4-year-old killed by truck replays tragedy

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The Crown made its decision to drop the charge with no likelihood of a conviction.

Lambert’s lawyer Alain Hepner said it’s unusual for charges to be withdrawn in the middle of a trial, but it needed to happen because of conflicting stories heard in court.

“There were two main witnesses: the mother and an independent witness who was a neighbour,” Hepner said.

“Their evidence conflicted so much, it would have affected everything to follow.”

The lawyer representing the family’s civil case against the driver said his clients didn’t get the closure they needed.

“The Crown, for whatever reason, didn’t call all the witnesses that we thought should have been called [to] get the whole story out there,” Stephen Nelson said. “They’re disappointed.

“The father hasn’t been able to go back to work since the accident. He’s suffered some severe PTSD.”

READ MORE: Little girl killed after being hit by vehicle in northwest Calgary

The civil case is moving forward, but Nelson said the family has struggled to carry on without their daughter.

“It replays in his head; it’s all he talks about,” Nelson said, referring to Avayah’s father.

Nelson said Avayah’s mother is doing her best to care for her other seven children.

“She’s holding the family together. I don’t think it’s any easier for her, but she has to be strong.”

Watch below from September 2016: A family’s suffering was exposed and raw Thursday, as they faced cameras for the first time since charges were laid in their daughter’s death. Avayah Toulon, 4, was hit by a truck this May. As Mia Sosiak reports, her family is furious over the outcome of the investigation.

“Witnesses had stated that the female driver of the Ford F150 had initially stopped and then slowly proceeded through the intersection at the same time that the child ran across 47 Street into the path of the vehicle,” police said in September statement. “The child was struck by the Ford, resulting in fatal head injuries.”

Lambert had been charged with careless driving and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. Police said neither alcohol nor speed were factors in the collision.

With files from Global’s Erika Tucker

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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