Nova Scotia

Vehicle inspector charged in fatal crash recently worked for province

Chet Bernard Chisholm of Lakevale, N.S., was charged with criminal negligence causing death following a two-vehicle crash on highway 107 in Porters Lake in January 2018.

Chet Bernard Chisholm of Lakevale, N.S., accused of criminal negligence causing death

RCMP have charged Chet Bernard Chisholm of Lakevale, N.S., with criminal negligence causing death. (Robert Short/CBC)

The man RCMP accuse of failing to properly inspect a vehicle that was later involved in a fatal crash was a bus inspector based in Antigonish, N.S., who was recently let go from his job with the Nova Scotia government.

A spokesperson with the Department of Transportation confirmed Thursday that Chet Bernard Chisholm had previously worked for the province as a motor carrier inspector. Marla McInnis said the criminal charges he now faces do not relate to his former role. 

Chisholm, 45, was charged with criminal negligence causing death following a two-vehicle crash on Highway 107 in Porters Lake in January 2018.

Two people were injured in the Toyota Chisholm inspected. A 49-year-old driving the other vehicle, a Volkswagen, was killed. 

Chisholm also faces two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, a spokesperson for the RCMP, said police have looked at other inspections Chisholm performed as part of their investigation.

Police determined the person who inspected the vehicle involved in the fatal crash was the subject of another incident in January 2018 where an improper vehicle inspection had been completed.

"Suffice it to say, the inspections were being completed and were not being completed properly, and we've laid charges and fairly serious charges at that," Clarke said.

Criminal record

Clarke said RCMP are continuing the investigation. She added police have reached out to other motorists who had their vehicles inspected by Chisholm, recommending they get the inspections redone.

Chisholm, who is from Lakevale, N.S., was arrested Wednesday and appeared in Antigonish provincial court the same day. He was released on conditions, which include no contact with several individuals and he cannot perform motor vehicle inspections. He is due back in court March 13.

This isn't Chisholm's first run-in with the law. Court documents from 1998 show Chisholm, 24 at the time, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and operating a motor vehicle while impaired.

He was sentenced to 18 months jail time and two years probation. After an altercation inside and outside a bar, Chisholm pursued a man and continued the fight. Chisholm drove his car directly at the vic­tim, struck and injured him, then sped away. The victim was not seriously injured.

All inspectors are required to have criminal record checks before being employed with the department, McInnis said.

McInnis said all buses are inspected biannually and therefore any buses inspected by Chisholm have since been re-inspected.

Corrections

  • In a previous version of this story RCMP said Chisholm had inspected the car that the 49-year-old woman who was killed was driving. Later, RCMP corrected their statement to say Chisholm inspected the other vehicle involved in the crash.
    Feb 15, 2019 9:41 AM AT