Windsor man pleads guilty after fatal crash on EC Row
A 24-year-old Windsor man pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death in court on Monday.
David Cassady was involved in a crash that killed a 66-year-old motorcyclist on E.C. Row Expressway near Jefferson in July 2015.
It was an emotional day for both families of the accused and the victim.
Cassady hung his head and cried at many points in the proceedings, especially when the family of Don Russell gave powerful victim impact statements.
Russell was killed on July 28, 2015. His Honda motorcycle was struck from behind by an Infiniti sedan.
The accident reconstruction report is more than 150 pages long into what happened.
Police say Cassady got onto EC Row at Lauzon Parkway and headed westbound. The vehicles event data recorder revealed the sedan was being driven 190 kilometres per hour in the minutes before the crash.
Police say the sedan "drifted" into the on ramp at Jefferson and clipped the back of Russells' motorcycle.
Court heard police believe Russell was thrown up and over the sedan and he then suffered catastrophic injuries. Russell died on scene.
Court heard eyewitnesses told police Cassady admitted to texting while driving. He also said to a witness. "I hit him. I can't believe I hit him.”
Police conducted one roadside breath test, which court heard Cassady failed. When he was then taken to headquarters, he failed another breathalyzer test.
Russell’s family read their victim impact statements out loud in court. His widow says since the accident, her health has deteriorated. She says she has been forced to sell their home and move in with her son.
"I just want to die, and for all of this pain to stop,” Andrea Russell said in court.
Her two sons described their dad as generous and mild-tempered, a man who worked so late in life to take care of his wife, whose health was never very good.
Scott says his father "is now only a memory because of one bad decision."
Crown attorney Adam Campbell is asking for four to six years in custody, plus a 10-year ban on driving.
Defence lawyer Andrew Bradie is asking for two years in custody, followed by three years probation.
Bradie says his client was always planning to enter a guilty plea, and Cassady has already approached both school boards, asking them about creating a program to talk to teens about distracted driving.
Sentencing submissions continue Tuesday.
CTV’s Michelle Maluske has details from the courtroom: