No sign of braking in collision: police expert

Police examined tire marks at the scene

No sign of braking in collision: police expert

CALGARY — A police investigator says there was no indication that the driver of a truck involved in a hit and run that killed a gas station worker tried to brake.

Const. Kevin Spear, a collision reconstructionist, testified Friday at the trial of Joshua Cody Mitchell, 22, who is charged with second-degree murder.

Maryam Rashidi, 35, was trying to stop a driver from leaving a Centex gas station in Calgary without paying for $113 worth of stolen fuel.

She chased the truck out into traffic and climbed onto the hood in an attempt to get the driver to come back.

The driver swerved, causing Rashidi to fall to the ground, where she was run over by the truck’s front and rear dual tires.

Spear, whose unit investigates fatal, serious injury and life-altering motor vehicle collisions, testified that he examined tire marks at the scene.

“I couldn’t find any evidence to indicate that this vehicle had undergone any braking after the acceleration. I found no other related evidence.”

If there had been an attempt to brake, Spear would have expected to see a sliding tire mark in a fairly straight line, he said.

He acknowledged that the evidence wouldn’t indicate if someone had attempted to slow down.

During his interview with police after his arrest, Mitchell said he tried to shake Rashidi off the front of the truck.

“I kept reversing to go around, and she kept … jumping in front of the car,” he told the investigator.

“I braked a bit. She fell off. And then I blacked out after she grabbed back on.”

Spear said since the truck was taking off from a standing start, the speed at the moment of impact would have been “fairly low” since the vehicle was only beginning to accelerate.

The officer also had a piece of clothing from Rashidi’s pants that were cut off by paramedics and said the “pattern appeared to be similar to the tires that I had observed on the vehicle.”

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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