Arguments in Westboro bus crash trial focus on video, audio from the scene
WARNING: Some viewers may find these videos disturbing
Video exhibits filed in the criminal trial of the driver in the Westboro bus crash in Ottawa show the force of the collision and record audio that may be crucial in the case.
Aissatou Diallo, 44, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of dangerous driving causing death and 35 charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
Diallo's judge-alone trial, which started this week, is at the Ontario Court of Justice on Elgin Street before Justice Matthew Webber.
The videos recorded on the interior of the OC Transpo bus were presented by the Crown during the testimony of two passengers who rode in the lower level of the double-decker bus on Jan. 11, 2019.
Most of the videos, called "silent witnesses" by the Crown, do not have any audio. CBC News has blurred the faces of passengers to protect their privacy.
In one, a man seated behind the middle door of the bus and using a tablet computer tries to brace himself after the bus bumps but falls down the aisle. The man appears to get up without visible injury.
In another video, the camera is positioned at the top of the double-decker stairs and looking down at one of the passengers who testified.
In the top left corner of the video, there appears to be a rush of debris on the upper level as the bus collides with awning of the bus shelter.
Video taken from a camera above the driver compartment shows the front door of the bus and captures the sounds in the seconds before the crash.
Diallo's lawyers have focused on the question of a screeching sound that they say marks the moment the bus begins moving rightward and eventually off the road.
Court heard that Diallo is the person who said "oh my god" on this video.
On Wednesday, the Crown presented almost the entirety of the video taken from facing out from the windshield — the 50-minute recording included Diallo driving out of the OC Transpo bus depot near Belfast Road up to the moments before impact.
Defence counsel presented screen shots from this angle when they raise questions about the sun affecting visibility during the crash and the presence of lane markings from a construction detour that was no longer in effect.
Christopher Chenier, an OC Transpo bus instructor who testified Wednesday, said the camera doesn't reflect what drivers see from their seat because they are farther back from the back and lower down.
Chenier said drivers can also use the sun visor, sunglasses and their own positioning to reduce the impact of glare.
The trial is expected to last seven more weeks.