In a Kelowna courtroom on Thursday, the judge heard that in September 2019, John Aronson drove an unlicensed, uninsured Buick over the bridge into West Kelowna as he was tailed by a police car, sped along the highway and then caused a four-car collision.
At the time, Aronson was prohibited from driving.
A police officer allegedly tried to stop the driver by turning on his emergency lights, but Aronson testified he never saw the flashing lights and didn’t realize police were trying to stop him.
The accused told court he started having problems with the vehicle, and then it spun out of control.
According to documents issued by the police watchdog, Aronson suffered from a fractured skull and several broken bones during the crash.
Under cross-examination from the Crown, Aronson testified that during his last encounter with police, he was shot twice, bitten by police dogs, received more than 100 stitches and spent a month in hospital for his injuries.
The Crown argued the incident might have caused him to be fearful of police as he was aware he was breaking his probation order by driving across town.
The accused replied that while he knew he was breaking the order banning him from driving, he was adamant that, in that moment he wasn’t evading police because he hadn’t spotted any cop cars.
Aronson said he was just trying to get the vehicle to a safe place where he could park it and live in it.
The police watchdog was called in to investigate the case because of the officer’s initial pursuit of Aronson’s vehicle but found no wrongdoing on behalf of RCMP.
Aronson is facing several charges, including flight from police and dangerous driving.
The defence and Crown have now wrapped up their closing arguments.
The judge is expected to hand down his verdict at a date that has yet to be set.