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First responders noticed ‘smell of alcohol’ coming from Calgary dad on trial for deadly crash

Victim’s mother testifies at trial for man accused in crash that killed daughter
WATCH: The wife of a man accused in an alleged drunk driving crash that killed their 17-year-old daughter testified in a Calgary courtroom on Tuesday. Silvana Benolich reports.

Paramedics and firefighters took the stand on Day 2 of Michael Shaun Bomford’s trial for a 2016 impaired driving crash that killed his 17-year-old daughter.

The Crown called Darcy Alder, an advanced care paramedic with Alberta Health Services (AHS), as the first witness on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Prosecutor tells court Calgary dad was drunk when he crashed his Jeep, killing teen daughter

Alder testified that while taking Bomford to the Foothills Medical Centre in an ambulance on Oct. 18, 2016, he noticed “a strong odour of liquor” while ventilating the patient.

“I noticed the smell of alcohol almost immediately,” Alder said.

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“I was positioned at the head [of the patient] and concluded the alcohol odour was coming from the patient’s mouth and/or nose.”

A second witness, AHS supervisor for emergency medical services Jan Rozek, also testified smelling a “strong, pungent odour of an alcohol-like substance” coming from the vicinity of Bomford as he knelt over him on the ground at the crash scene.

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Trial begins for man charged with impaired driving in crash that killed daughter
Trial begins for man charged with impaired driving in crash that killed daughter

Scott Campbell, a firefighter with the Calgary Fire Department, confirmed he too smelled alcohol in the back of the ambulance as Bomford was being taken to hospital.

Campbell also testified that when he arrived at the crash site, he performed a quick assessment on Bomford but was unable to find a pulse, adding the 54-year-old was unresponsive.

“He was a non-viable patient,” Campbell said.

Believing him to be dead, Campbell covered him with a blanket.

A short time later, one of the other first responders noticed Bomford was breathing.

READ MORE: Funeral for Calgary teen killed in McKnight rollover held Monday

The 2016 single-vehicle crash on McKnight Boulevard claimed the life of Bomford’s 17-year-old daughter Meghan. Meghan’s 16-year-old friend, Kelsey Nelson, was also thrown from the vehicle and critically injured in the rollover crash.

Meghan Bomford, 17, has been identified as the teenager killed in Tuesday’s fatal crash on McKnight Boulevard.
Meghan Bomford, 17, has been identified as the teenager killed in Tuesday’s fatal crash on McKnight Boulevard. GoFundme

During the opening day of the trial on Monday, the Crown claimed Bomford was three times over the legal limit when the crash happened. It’s also alleged he was driving at speeds of at least 112 km/h at the time of the crash, which is over the posted 80 km/h limit on the roadway.

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Meghan’s mom testifies

Lisa Bomford — Meghan’s mother and Bomford’s estranged wife — testified via CCTV on Tuesday afternoon.

She told court that shortly after her husband picked up Meghan from her home, she started receiving a series of rapid-fire texts from her daughter.

In those texts, Meghan complained about her father being impatient about having to drive her that day.

One of those messages was a screenshot of a text conversation between Meghan and her father on Oct. 18, 2016.

“I’m here. One minute and I’m gone,” Lisa said the text read.

Justice Kristine Eidsvik has yet to rule on whether the text messages between Bomford and Meghan will be admitted as evidence in the trial.

No witness called by the Crown has been able to confirm that Bomford was behind the wheel in the fatal crash.

Lisa testified that there was no way Meghan would have been texting and driving the vehicle when it crashed.

When asked by defence lawyer James Wyman if she thought his client was to blame for the accident, Lisa replied: “Meghan certainly isn’t… and yes, I do.”

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Under cross-examination, Lisa admitted she and her husband had a very hostile relationship ever since splitting up in 2012.

“I felt just dead towards him. Dead inside,” Lisa said.

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The mother stopped short of saying she hated her husband, pausing for some time before adding that she was more disappointed and trying to figure out how the couple could best take care of their two daughters.

Bomford has pleaded not guilty to all six charges in connection with the crash. The judge-only trial is scheduled for seven days.