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Wife blames accident on optical illusion

Chase Donaldson, the accused, and family. Chase is second from the right. His wife, Marcia is by his side.
November 24, 2012 - 9:31 AM

UPDATE: 4 p.m. Nov. 23

The wife of the man accused of hitting a woman with his car says a flash of headlights while coming around a sharp corner confused him and caused him to swerve. 

"It's just that corner," said Marcia Donaldson, wife of the accused Chase Donaldson, of a corner on Aberdeen Rd. "If headlights come around that corner, it does look like (the car) is coming at you." Donaldson said it was these lights that caused her husband to swerve the way he did.


There is no mention of these headlights in Marcia Donaldson's May 1, 2010 statement, made the day after the accident. What she did mention, was a flash. 


"Chase said he saw a flash and heard a thump," she said. Crown prosecutor Iain Currie suggested it could have been a flash of clothing her husband saw, and asked her why she didn't mention the headlights to the police. 


"We were more concerned about what was hit than the details of the accident," she said.


Currie pressed the importance of the headlights, asking the witness repeatedly why she hadn't mentioned them to the police. Currie read a transcript of Chase's telephone conversation with ICBC, which had occurred late the night of the accident. In it, he never mentioned headlights, or another car on the road at all.  


"Wouldn't it have been extremely important to find that car?" asked Currie, suggesting it could have proven Chase Donaldson wasn't completely at fault for what happened. 


Currie then turned to the topic of the peculiar 911 call. The night of the accident, the Donaldsons noticed they had a missed call. When Chase hit the call back button, he noticed the number read 911, said Marcia Donaldson, and he hung up thinking he might have hit the wrong button. His wife took the next turn.


"I always call numbers back," she said. 


It soon became clear to Marcia that her husband had not misdialed; the call was from the police. But the 911 operator couldn't tell her why the police had phoned.  


"Well my husband did just hit something on Aberdeen Rd," Donaldson told the operator. 


Currie insinuated that the police were returning an earlier call placed by Chase Donaldson himself. 


"You drew the inference that your husband had phoned 911," prompted Currie. 


Marcia Donaldson refused to agree. 


The trial resumes on Monday. Stay with us for updates. 



—Charlotte Helston



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