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Engineer report under scrutiny at trial

A professional engineer and Crown counsel battled over the engineer's report into an accident on April 30,2010 that killed a Coldstream pedestrian during the Supreme Court trial of Chase Donaldson Monday in Vernon Supreme Court.

Kurt Isling, a Vancouver-based professional engineer, was a witness called by the defence in the matter of Donaldson, who pleaded not guilty last week to two counts in connection with the death of Kiera-Leigh Carlson, 22, as she walked to work along Aberdeen Road on April 30, 2010.

Isling, an expert in accident reconstruction, driver visibility, pedestrian impact and driver response times, testified his report on the accident differed from RCMP traffic reconstructionist expert Brian Nightingale's testimony because "Nightingale used different factual assumptions than in my report."

Isling's report was based on factual assumptions he made, including:

1...The time the incident is said to have happened (between 8:30 and 9 p.m.) is significant as it was fully dark;

2...Donaldson's behaviour of accelerating and steering toward the southbound shoulder while he was driving northbound was because he believed there was a vehicle in or coming into his lane;

3...The tire marks credited as being Donaldson's were recorded by the RCMP;

4...A vehicle driven by Dave Regehr, a Crown witness along with his passenger, Beth Regehr, his wife, turned onto AberdeenRoad off Highway 6 at 30 km/h.

Isling, who has investigated an estimated 1,300 accidents, and has testified in court on previous occasions, said he visited the accident site in Nov. 2012, once during the day to get measurements, and once at night..

Currie spent most of Monday's proceedings hammering away at Isling's report, stating that Donaldson would have had a clear view of a truck with its red taillights engaged stopped at Highway 6 prior to seeing the headlights of the Regehr vehicle.

The Regehrs testified last week that as they turned off the highway, they saw the headlights of a vehicle coming at a high rate of speed in their lane, and that Dave drove into the northbound lane to avoid a collision.

The defence is expected to wrap its case Tuesday.

Donaldson pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death and failing to stop at an accident scene causing bodily harm.

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