Sobbing Burger takes the stand in fatal Costco crash trial
Ruth Burger, 66, took the stand in her own defence Tuesday as the fatal Costco crash trial wrapped up.
She is the only person who really knows what happened inside her 2004 red Monte Carlo.
As she was reversing, Burger said she tried to press the brake to slow down and that's when her foot got caught. She was wiggling her foot to free it, but could not as the car started going faster.
Burger told the court she had both hands on the steering wheel and didn't think of honking the horn.
"I remember saying, 'Oh, no. Oh, no.' And then I heard the crash of the glass," a sobbing Burger said.
Crown lawyer Fraser Ball questioned Burger’s testimony, saying she could have only gotten her foot caught if the gas pedal was almost fully depressed. He said that would have been irresponsible driving in the Costco parking lot.
In his closing submission, lawyer Ron Ellis said Burger is a woman who spent her life being safe and prudent.
The first witness called to the stand Tuesday was Costco employee Elizabeth Ellis who described her experience of the crash.
"I remember taking a piece of metal from the door frame off the mother and seeing the little girl lying there," said Ellis.
Witness Helena Fehr was in a running car next to Burger's vehicle.
Fehr described the moment when Burger's car backed away. "It almost seemed like it wasn't done purposely. It almost seemed like something was stuck."
Burger is facing four charges stemming from the Costco crash on July 25, 2014, that claimed the lives of six-year-old Addison Hall and her newborn sister Rhiannon Bozek, delivered by emergency Caesarian section.
Burger has pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
Both the Crown and defence have agreed that Burger was not suffering from any health issues, physical or mental, and that her car did not have a mechanical failure.
The tragic collision occurred when the vehicle backed through the front doors at the south end Costco, striking several people, including Danah McKinnon-Bozek, who was eight months pregnant with Rhiannon.
The judge’s decision is expected June 19.
Addison Hall passed away in hospital. Rhiannon was delivered by emergency Caesarian section, but later passed away.
McKinnon-Bozek and her three-year-old daughter Miah Bozek were seriously injured in the crash.