Charges upheld against Berner
A woman who was driving the car that killed a four-year-old Delta girlhas lost her appeal to have the charges stayed on the grounds thatevidence was lost when her vehicle was scrapped.
A woman who was driving the car that killed a four-year-old Delta girl has lost her appeal to have the charges stayed on the grounds that evidence was lost when her vehicle was scrapped.
Carol Berner admits to being behind the wheel when she lost control and killed Alexa Middelaer in 2008, but denies being drunk.
Her lawyer, David Tarnow, argued that because ICBC sent Berner’s car to the scrapyard, he was unable to have the vehicle examined to see if the brakes and steering failed.
But Judge Peder Gulbransen ruled that it was neither the Crown’s nor the police’s responsibility to make sure Berner had her car inspected before handing it over to ICBC.
“Police had no legal power to control what happened to the vehicle,” said Gulbransen. “The car was sold for scrap because Miss. Berner allowed it to be sold.”
Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mother, said she feels validated and that “common sense and reasonable thinking prevailed.”
“It is reassuring there is that level of accountability,” she said. “We feel content that the case will continue. This was just a diversion. What we’re all really looking for closure.”
Const. Sharlene Brooks said it was disappointing that the defence suggested the Delta police were negligent in their handling of the case. “For defence to attack the reputation of the Delta Police Department is an act of desperation and frustration,” she said.