HTA 144(18) because of witness to accident who did not remain at scene, but called in later

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HTA 144(18) because of witness to accident who did not remain at scene, but called in later

by: Snowball on
Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:37 pm

I was approaching an intersection when the traffic light changed from green to yellow. I wouldn't have been able to safely stop in time, so I went through. A car going in the opposite direction waiting to make a left turn decided to go at the same time, and my car went straight into theirs. No witnesses remained at the scene, and I didn't have a dash cam.

When the police arrived about an hour later, I only took me 5 minutes to give my statement, but the other driver was with them for almost 45 minutes. Then the officer came over to me with a ticket for "red light - fail to stop HTA 144 (18)". I was told that the other driver was shaken up and their story had some inconsistencies, and that they believed my story and wasn't originally going to give me a ticket. But someone called the police while they were questioning the other driver and said they witnessed the accident. Since they described both vehicles and said they saw me go through the red, they had no choice. They seemed sympathetic. Needless to say, I plan to fight this, and requested an early resolution meeting to see if there is any way to get it dropped without going to trial (I know it's a long shot).

My insurance company originally said they thought I would be found 100% at fault because of the ticket and witness, but after reviewing the evidence for a week, they determined I was 0% at fault and the other driver 100% at fault. I don't know what other evidence they used to make that determination, but I am hoping it had something to do with discrediting the third party witness.

So I have a couple of questions:

1. Should I be showing all of my cards at the early resolution meeting in hopes of avoiding a trial altogether, or does exposing my defense strategy allow the prosecution to better prepare?
2. If it goes to trial, do I want the third party witness to be there, or is it better for me if they don't show? The police said they couldn't divulge the name, so I would have no way to make them attend, nor would I be able to prove whether they know the other driver. If they do attend, I look forward to cross examining them.
3. Since the officer was sympathetic, what are the chances they would remember that level of detail? It would be nice to get them to testify to the inconsistencies in the other driver's testimony.
4. Any other advice? I have a clean driving record, but I have young G2 drivers in my household, so I imagine any conviction would lead to a significant premium increase.


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