Decision in case of girl struck in crosswalk to be delivered Jan. 27

A Victoria woman charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm after hitting and seriously injuring a Saanich girl will learn her fate Jan. 27.

That’s the day Judge Mayland McKimm is expected to deliver his decision in Victoria provincial court.

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Tenessa Nikirk was behind the wheel of a black Mercedes SUV that struck 11-year-old Leila Bui in a crosswalk on Ash Road at the intersection of Torquay Drive on the morning of Dec. 20, 2017. The collision left Leila with severe brain damage, a fractured neck and a lacerated spleen.

Final arguments concluded last week.

Defence lawyer Tom Morino called the collision “inevitable” and argued that Nikirk might not have been able to see Leila crossing the road because the girl was obscured by another vehicle and ran into the crosswalk.

Crown prosecutor Jess Patterson, however, noted that Nikirk engaged in a number of dangerous-driving behaviours, including tailgating, dangerous passing, speeding and repeated texting while driving.

Nikirk failed to reduce her speed or slow down for pedestrian traffic in the crosswalk, which is marked with a yellow flashing light, said Patterson.

Admissions of fact read into the court record show that between 8 a.m. and 8:20 a.m. on Dec. 20, Nikirk sent 11 text messages and received 13 texts from a 604 number. She received the final text at 8:16, 12 seconds before the collision.

The court released a dash-cam video that shows Nikirk speeding as she overtook two vehicles on a solid single yellow line while she headed east on Ash Road that morning.

An expert in video analysis testified that Nikirk’s black Mercedes accelerated from 50 kilometres an hour to 90 kilometres an hour as it overtook the vehicle equipped with front and back dash cams.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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