Careless driving charge dropped in death of four-year-old Calgary girl
Published Thursday, October 12, 2017 3:19PM EDT
A careless driving charge has been dropped after a Calgary woman was accused of hitting and killing a four-year-old girl with her truck.
Prosecutors said Thursday that there was conflicting evidence in the case against Tanis Lambert, 39, who was allegedly behind the wheel of a truck that struck and killed Avayah (Avi) Toulon at an intersection in the Calgary neighbourhood of Bowness in May, 2016.
Crown lawyer Rose Greenwood said, as the prosecution was reviewing its case, they concluded that there was no reasonable likelihood of a conviction.
Avi’s mother Samantha Gyurian testified Wednesday that she told her five children it was safe to cross at the intersection, and that four of them were still on the road when the truck struck the four-year-old. Gyurian said she screamed at the driver to stop, but the truck never did.
Avi suffered serious head injuries and was later pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators ruled out excessive speed and alcohol in the incident.
Lambert, while outside the courtroom on Wednesday, called what happened "a horrible accident."
Witnesses reported seeing the truck stopped at the intersection before proceeding through slowly, as the young girl ran into its path.
"(Lambert’s) version of events and her testimony would have been very similar to the second civilian witness; almost identical, which reflect that this was a horrible accident; that's what it was," Alain Hepner, Lambert's lawyer told reporters on Thursday.
Avi's father, Craig Toulon, who spoke to the media a month after his daughter died, disputed the witness accounts. He said the truck did not stop at all, until other pedestrians flagged down the driver.
The Toulon family’s civil action lawyer, Stephen Nelson, said they maintain the belief that Lambert's negligence is to blame for Avi's death.
"They are disappointed in the job that the Calgary Police Service and the Crown did in the way this matter was handled,” he said. “There were a number of witnesses that we thought that should have been called but weren't. In any event, we look forward to the full story coming out eventually."
With a report from CTV Calgary’s Michael Franklin and with files from The Canadian Press