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Witness interrogated on assumptions

Chase Donaldson, the accused, and family. Chase is second from the right. His wife, Marcia is by his side.
November 26, 2012 - 5:50 PM


UPDATE: 4:00 p.m. Nov. 26
Kurt Ising, a professional engineer who has been involved in the analysis of over 1,300 automobile accidents since 1995, told court this afternoon that he neglected to include a possible scenario in his final report. 
Ising was contracted by the defense to compile a report analyzing the events that occurred the night of April 30, 2010, when Kiera-Leigh Carlson was struck by Chase Donaldson's, Subaru Impreza. Ising's analysis focused on Donaldson's vehicle as well as a second car belonging to David and Beth Regehr, who testified last week. 
Ising ran numerous simulations to determine how fast Donaldson was driving as well as his placement at various times during the incident. In his calculations, Ising assumed Donaldson had made an intentional turn to the left, as a result of perceiving a car coming at him, and that he had accelerated through the swerve. 
"Whichever simulation we look at will have a similar speed as the tire marks," said Ising, whose goal was to recreate the tire marks found on the shoulder of the road. 
Ising said he modeled a number of different scenarios and that only some were included in his final report. 
"I take it that those (others) were weaned down because they didn't fit with the other assumptions," said Crown lawyer Iain Currie during his cross examination with the witness. 
"I arrived at one other final solution without the acceleration," said Ising. "Initially, with no acceleration and no breaking, I had a speed of 90 km/hr." 
This result was at odds with Ising's other outcomes, in which Donaldson's car had been driving at a speed of 75 km/hr followed by an acceleration up to 85km/hr. 
Supreme Court Justice Frank Cole intervened about the rejected 90km/h scenario. 
"If you are preparing this report not as an advocate of any party, why wouldn't you include the finding you calculated?" he asked the witness. 
"I don't feel as though I've tried to hide that analysis," said Ising. "I was asked to assume a different set of facts by my client. If that analysis were included it would no longer reference the facts my clients wanted to establish."
During Currie's cross examination, Ising agreed that if Donaldson had been driving 90km/hr he would not have been able to stay in his own lane—with or without a swerve. 
Currie also questioned the witness on the omission of the pedestrian in his analysis. 
Ising said he included the pedestrian in the model, but not in the analysis. Ising has conducted studies on pedestrian visibility, and Currie took the opportunity to quiz him on his facts. 
Currie showed Ising a photograph of the deceased, in which she wore a light-coloured top with blue jeans. 
Ising agreed that in that light-coloured top, Donaldson would have been able to spot her between 48-96 meters away. 
But Ising said the pedestrian was not Donaldson's priority and it's possible his brain didn't register her presence. 
"(The perceived oncoming car) is the immediate hazard; other things might have been missed."
Currie persisted that within just tenths of a second of Donaldson's decision to swerve, Carlson would have been directly in front of him and easily visible. 
"You assume that at 30 meters away he (Donaldson) accelerates at the pedestrian who is there to be seen," said Currie. 
Ising agreed. 
Throughout the day, the defense called character witnesses to the stand to vouch for Donaldson's "honesty, integrity and truthfulness." 
Both Dr. David Arnold, who practices in Vernon, and Blaine Carlson, a local Vernon man, said those were characteristics they would associate with the accused. 
—Charlotte Helston

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