Accused testifies in dangerous driving case

All witnesses have been called, examined and cross-examined in the jury trial of a woman accused of dangerous driving in relation to a fatal collision. Cherish Elsie Schutte, 24, of Canwood, Sask., admitted in Red Deer Queen’s Bench court to driving the northbound pickup truck that collided with a westbound pickup on Aug. 29, 2010, at the intersection of Hwys 21 and 11.

All witnesses have been called, examined and cross-examined in the jury trial of a woman accused of dangerous driving in relation to a fatal collision.

Cherish Elsie Schutte, 24, of Canwood, Sask., admitted in Red Deer Queen’s Bench court to driving the northbound pickup truck that collided with a westbound pickup on Aug. 29, 2010, at the intersection of Hwys 21 and 11.

Donna Ann Johnson, 47, of Parkside, Sask., Schutte’s mother, was in the truck with Schutte and killed at the scene of the crash.

Eric Comeau, 26 at the time, of Consort, was injured at scene. He was in the other vehicle involved in the crash.

Defence attorney Eamon O’Keefe called Schutte to the stand on Tuesday afternoon after the Crown had called its last witness earlier in the day.

Schutte said she was driving to a cousin’s wedding at Pine Lake with her mother on Aug. 27, 2010, from Schutte’s then home in Lloydminster. On Aug. 29 at about 11 a.m., Schutte said they left, adding she did not consume alcohol at any point in the weekend, as the wedding took place at the Salvation Army camp at Pine Lake.

She said for the drive home, she set her cruise control to 108 km/h, as she usually does for long trips.

As she approached the intersection, she remembers seeing the Important Intersection Ahead sign and the next thing she said she saw was truck headlights in her peripheries.

“I inhaled and that’s it,” said Schutte, adding she didn’t have time to react.

Schutte said she was unfamiliar with the drive and didn’t think she would have to stop after the important intersection sign, but she would have stopped if she saw the sign.

After the collision, Schutte said she tried to get a response from her mother but was unable. She said “Don’t leave me,” to her mother as witnesses rushed to help.

Leading up to the intersection, Schutte said she doesn’t remember seeing any other signs or feeling any vibrations from the rumble strips.

Prior to Schutte’s testimony, the Crown called Cpl. Donavan Gulak, an RCMP collision reconstruction analyst.

Gulak said the Important Intersection Ahead sign was 630 metres from the stop line at the intersection of Hwys 11 and 21. There were also five sets of rumble strips, a Stop Sign Ahead sign leading to the intersection and a 1.2-metre-by-1.2 metre Stop sign with a flashing red light above the sign at the intersection for drivers traveling on Hwy 21.

He said that through his investigation, he determined that Schutte’s pickup was travelling at 76 km/h while the other truck was travelling at 97 km/h. However, he noted that the calculations he used in his investigation do not account for how the collision would affect speed.

He said there were four points of impact in his report. The initial impact for the Schutte’s truck was at the front of the vehicle, while the other vehicle suffered damage on the driver side. After the initial impact, Gulak said the two vehicles collided again, this time parallel, for what he called a “side-slap.” Then both vehicles entered the ditch with the Schutte’s truck colliding with a light stand with its tailgate and the other vehicle striking a barbed-wire fence.

Closing arguments are today.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary chiefs from Wet’suwet’en First Nation are expected to return to British… Continue reading

Fort Macleod, Alta., to get special advance screening of new ‘Ghostbusters’ film

There will be something strange in the neighbourhood of Fort Macleod, Alta.,… Continue reading

Hundreds turn up at Coldest Night of Year walk in Red Deer

It wasn’t the coldest night of the year, which probably helped the… Continue reading

Police in Saskatoon shoot two dogs that attacked man, then advanced on officers

SASKATOON — Police in Saskatoon say officers had to open fire at… Continue reading

13-year-old Maskwacis teen missing

Maskwacis RCMP are asking for public assistance to locate 13-year-old Rebecca Soosay.… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Wranglers win wild Game 1 double OT thriller over Red Deer Vipers

The best-of-seven series continues Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Kings and Queens basketball triumph over Ambrose, keep playoff hopes alive

Guard Sandra Garica-Bernal sets new Queens all-time steals mark

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

View of a longtime economist: Slower growth but no recession

WASHINGTON — In this high-profile election year, the U.S. economy boasts an… Continue reading

Amy, chasing: Klobuchar, already beating odds, faces uphill climb

WASHINGTON — It’s been a running gag ever since she launched her… Continue reading

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s attorney general hopes an inquiry into money laundering… Continue reading

Russian spy case documents missing or destroyed, Canada’s info watchdog finds

OTTAWA — Federal officials lost or possibly destroyed sensitive records about the… Continue reading

Most Read