My 86 year old uncle has had no traffic tickets and passed three re-licencing episodes without problems. In a rainstorm, he turned left from a driveway onto a clear four lane street. A car apparently had turned from an adjacent driveway at the same time - right in front of him.
He braked to avoid the slowly-moving car, but his wet shoe slid off the brake pedal and hit the accelerator causing a collision with the car in front. Thankfully, no one was hurt because each car had a driver and a passenger. A police officer attended the scene about half an hour later and my uncle admitted hitting the car. He received a ticket for following too closely and a copy of the Motor Vehicle Traffic Accident Report.
Several errors on the ticket - incorrect licence plate number and Motor Vehicle Involved marked "N" and Collision Involved Y/O not ticked off and Witnesses Y/O not ticked off.
Several errors on the accident report - incorrect number of occupants in vehicle and my uncle's speed incorrectly stated as 25 km and the other car's speed incorrectly stated as zero - meaning stopped. Both cars were moving slowly albeit under 5km per hour.
What is the process for amending the accident report? I notice that Report Type alllows "Amended". What are the prospects for success given my uncle's age, his spotless driving record, the above errors and him admitting he caused the collision? My uncle had a witness in his car - his 84 year old brother. What are the insurance implications? I am inclined to recommend pleading Not Guilty and asking for disclosure of the Officer's notes. My thanks and appreciation for any light you can shed on this issue.
Do to their ages, I would recommend using a paralegal service, Xcopper comes to mind. Their rendition of the events sound credible and the errors in the report would probably make the ticket null and void. Was there any damage??
Yes, there was damage to both vehicles. Uncle's car was fifteen years old and the driver's side bumper was damaged so it's probably going to be written off. The airbags did not deploy.
There was damage to the passenger side of the other car, but it was driveable. Bad luck that six inches further and there would have been no collision. Good luck that no person was hurt.
No non-involved witness to the collision. However, a passerby afterwards was very kind to my uncles and would probably attest to my second uncle's presence in the car - the one missed in traffic report. The same witness commented on the robust health and confident driving skills of my uncle as he backed his damaged car in the rain out of the traffic route.
Should uncle visit the police station to amend the traffic report with respect to obvious errors? I have him half-convinced that there is no harm in pleading not guilty even though it is a hassle. Can I ask for the notes or any documents that the officer made regarding this incident? Uncle is not rich, but will recommend X-Copper if he decides to go to court. Thanks again and please feel free to offer any assistance on this.
Liz wrote: Several errors on the accident report - incorrect number of occupants in vehicle and my uncle's speed incorrectly stated as 25 km and the other car's speed incorrectly stated as zero - meaning stopped. Both cars were moving slowly albeit under 5km per hour..
Possibly your uncle and the other driver both gave statements at the time police arrived indicating what is actually on the report......only to tell you something different later........maybe the person the 2nd person in the vehicle did not provide a statement or was never even mentioned to the officer? Just random possibilities of why there could be differences.
Liz wrote:Can I ask for the notes or any documents that the officer made regarding this incident?
Yes. Your uncle has the right to request disclosure of all of the evidence against him, including things like the officer's notes and even "will say" statements from witnesses, etc. There is no harm in pleading not guilty. Even if he gets convicted, the result would be the same as though he'd just paid the ticket.
Just to get a better understanding here, you indicated that the other driver moved out of an adjacent driveway at about the same time. This is a key point: Did the other driver pull out and cut off your uncle on a rainy, wet road? It more or less sounded like that was what happened.
It looks like there is witness other than the police officer required to make out the offense. Your disclosure will tell if there actually is. And if so both of them have to be in court for the prosecutor to secure a conviction against your uncle.
There may be a chance that one of them does not show.
WRT to being cutoff on a rainy wet day, neither uncle remembers seeing the driver on the road before the turn, so disclosure should provide some clarification as to what happened. Both uncles remember looking left and seeing clear roads, then looking right and seeing clear roads as well as a red light stopping any traffic from the right side. Turned left and there it was, a slow moving car. Shoe slipped onto accelerator because of wet sole, Uncle couldn't steer away in time. The collision happened.
Thanks for your help. Uncle is going to plead not guilty. We are going to request a translator in case there are legal terms that Uncle can't quite understand.
Update, Uncle couldn't afford professional help.
I asked for disclosure which was incomplete
Disclosure showed errors in weather, point of impact, incorrect defendant statement, Accident report shows errors in driver's license number for Uncle and number of involved persons, box with [b]collision occurred[/b]not ticked off.
Sent back a request for the missing info including witness will say and copy of back of the officer copy of ticket. Some writing on our disclosure was covered by whiteout tape so I requested why.
Four days after this request, Uncle gets a phone call from prosecutor saying charges withdrawn. I called back and prosecutor said the other driver lived too far away to summons as a witness ( lives one hour away) so charges withdrawn. Someone, not Uncle, should show up on trial date to appear in court on his behalf.
What happened? The other driver lived out of town from Day 1. Why not just say this right away? What are the next steps? Do we even need to show up? I have the voicemail on my cellphone saying charges withdrawn.
Thanks for your help and I hope this works out for Uncle. It's been 7 months.
No need to do anything else. Your uncle won without a fight! Congrats!
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"
www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com
Liz wrote: Someone, not Uncle, should show up on trial date to appear in court on his behalf.
Did they say you still have to go to court to get it withdrawn?
Did the prosecutor say "your uncle doesn't need to show up" without prompting, or after you asked? If they did it out of the blue, that sounds mighty suspicious, though as you said, there were errors on the ticket, and if he didn't show, it should go to a s.9.1 review on which it should be quashed. Plus you have the voicemail just in case any sneaky stuff happens.
If it were me, though, I would attend. What else is your 84 yr old uncle doing that day?!?
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