Three years after an accident that killed 12-year-old Julia Riccobene, the mother of Julia’s friend Allison Jones, 47, and Jones’s son Miles Jones, seven, the criminal negligence trial and dangerous driving by Paul Manzon, the driver. The sports car that collided with Jones’ Kia Sportage has begun.
Before the trial with a single judge began, Judge Nancy Dennison issued a ruling on a video statement given by Manzon on September 24, 2018, approximately seven weeks after the fatal accident. Manzon, who was 45 at the time, attended a division of the Peel Regional Police to receive a summons and asked the officer, “Can I call my attorney while I’m here?”
Dennison ruled that officers had a duty to delay questioning the detainee, and Manzon should have had the opportunity to consult with an attorney.
“At that point, the police should have stopped interviewing him for a reasonable period of time, waiting for the lawyer to call him back. Rather, the police continued with the interview, ”Dennison said, explaining his reasoning for excluding the statement as evidence.
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During that interview, Manzon was repeatedly asked about the accident, but he refused to accept any responsibility or show any remorse. He told the officer that he was a single man who never married and lived with his parents.
It was August 4, 2018, when Allison was attempting to turn east on Nashville Road from Southbound Highway 50 and was struck by the blue Chevrolet Corvette Manzon was driving at the intersection.
Allison was pronounced dead at the scene while Miles and Riccobene were rushed to the hospital where they died. Jones’ 12-year-old daughter, who was in the front passenger seat, suffered a broken collarbone and survived. Surveillance video shown in court from a nearby gas station captured the moment of impact from a distance.
The court heard that Manzon and his passenger received injuries that were not life-threatening. The officer in charge of the investigation, Sgt. Donna Foreman testified that the road was dry, the sky was clear and it was 26 ° C at the time of the collision.
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Foreman told the court that he saw data being retrieved from the event data loggers of both vehicles. She testified that five seconds before the collision, the Corvette was traveling at 164 km / h and one second before the collision its speed was reduced to 142 km / h. The posted speed limit in 2018 was 80 km / h. The Kia’s data recorder showed it was traveling at 40 km / h five seconds before the crash and at 29 km / h one second before the crash.
During questioning, Manzon’s attorney suggested that since the fatal accident, the speed limit along that stretch of Highway 50 has been lowered and there are plans to lower the speed limit again.
Riccobene’s aunt, Salvina Greco, who is viewing the test through Zoom, told Global News that regardless of the posted speed limit, Manzon was traveling too fast.
“What possessed him to travel at such a rate on a summer night, at 9 at night. There are families who come home after a picnic or a party like Julia, ”said Greco.
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“You choose to drive irresponsibly and recklessly like that, you are putting the lives of everyone on the road at risk. We lost three lives. This changes your family forever. We have to carry this pain forever. “
Manzon, who was charged with 10 crimes, including three counts of criminal negligence that resulted in death and three counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle that caused death, has pleaded not guilty.
Greco said that what makes this trial even more difficult is that his brother and Julia’s father, Angelo Riccobene, died in May.
“He passed away after contracting COVID this year. He spent three months fighting in the ICU and sadly passed away, so he is not here to defend his daughter. It has been a tremendously difficult year, ”he said.
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