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Crown says accused must have seen the body, or he didn't look

Kiera-Leigh Carlson
Image Credit: FACEBOOK
November 28, 2012 - 7:08 PM

The Crown lawyer of a hit and run trial said today that the man accused is lying to the court. 

It is the eight day of the trial of Chase Donaldson, the man accused of driving dangerously along Aberdeen Rd, fatally colliding with a pedestrian, and fleeing the scene without contacting 911. The victim, Kiera-Leigh Carlson, was found dead on the side of Aberdeen Rd the morning of May 1, 2010. 
During his time on the witness stand yesterday and today, Donaldson described how he searched the area multiple times on foot, with his headlights and also with a flashlight. He testified that he found nothing. 
But the Crown isn't buying it. 
Crown lawyer Iain Currie said today that Donaldson must have seen Carlson's body if he had indeed been looking where he said he was. 
"Miss Carlson had a shock of blonde hair, and she was wearing a light-coloured jacket," said Currie. "You would have seen Miss Carlson with or without a flashlight."
"I was looking another way," said Donaldson, who stared at the stand.
Donaldson said he didn't walk as far along the road as he had earlier stated. 
"Can you provide any explanation of why you didn't look in the spot you had hit the object?" asked Currie.
"Because I was looking where I thought it landed," said Donaldson. 
It became clear the witness was holding back tears, and Currie asked if he needed a break. Donaldson said he did not.
"You couldn't have looked for 15 minutes and not have seen Miss Carlson," continued Currie. 
"The only reason you wouldn't have looked there (the site of the impact) would be if you didn't want to find what you were looking for."
Currie went on to rephrase his question in numerous ways, asking the witness how he could have missed the body that was clearly visible. Donaldson continued to reply with, "I can't say."
Currie also returned to the topic of the 911 call Donaldson had dialed and then hung up on. 
"Let me suggest to you that even if a very small chance existed that a person had been hit, it would have been worth a few seconds of your time to talk to the 911 operator," said Currie. 
Donaldson said he hung up because he didn't know what had been hit. 
"There is only one reason why someone would fail to call 911, or worse, hang up, and the reason is, you didn't want to get in trouble," said Currie. 
Currie compared call records from Donaldson's cell phone and home phone and stated that the times of those calls didn't match Donaldson's story. They showed, he said, that Donaldson hadn't stayed at the scene as long as he'd claimed.
In a photo, Currie pointed out a series of blue streaks on Donaldson's Subaru—the vehicle known to have struck Carlson. Currie said Donaldson would have noticed the blue streaks when he looked his car over for damage in his lit carport that night. Currie tried to get Donaldson, who has refused to say he knew he'd hit a person that night, to explain what else could have left the blue smear. Carlson was wearing blue jeans the night of the accident. 
Currie again brought up Donaldson's driving speeds that night. Donaldson testified that he couldn't remember how fast he was going right before he swerved and hit Carlson. 
"I don't know how much I slowed down. I  know I had planned to slow down. I was about to, but then I saw the headlights," said Donaldson, who testified that the sight of an oncoming car caused him to swerve out of the way to avoid a head-on collision. 
Currie insisted it was already too late to slow down. 
The trial resumes tomorrow. 
—Charlotte Helston
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012
InfoTel News Ltd

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