October 26, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Cell Phone While Driving: Motorist acquitted of criminal negligence

Cell Phone While Driving: Motorist acquitted of criminal negligence

A Thetford Mines motorcyclist was charged with felony criminal mischief in January 2017.

Crown’s attempt to establish through circumstantial evidence beyond reasonable doubt that 22 – year – old Miguel Boldak is using his cell phone has failed.

Quebec Court Judge Mary-Claude Gilbert instead found evidence of defense, stating that the facts allowed “suspicion of reform of the accused”, i.e. he increased the radio volume at the time of the accident.

On January 21, 2017, at 9 p.m., Miguel Boldak was heading east on Route 112 in the Thetford mines. At a traffic light in Robertsonville (a part of town), he receives and sends photos and messages with the Snapchat app, as admitted in his testimony at his trial last November.

He said he sent the last “snap” as the light turned green and his vehicle was moving forward. He then put his phone in the passenger seat. 9:08 pm at that time.

The driver continued on his way and a few minutes later was badly ided with 19-year-old Donic Lachens. As soon as 911 was swiped, it was called by passersby at 9:11 p.m.

During the trial, a reconstruction expert from the Certe du Quebec said that Miguel Boldak’s vehicle “gradually” deviated from its trajectory over a few tens of meters, suggesting a theory of negligence.

Judge Gilbert, who pronounced his verdict in Theftford Mines Court on Friday, ruled that the 3.9-kilometer stretch between Robert Sunsville traffic light and the place where Donic Latchens was struck. She points out that between the effect time (9:11 pm) and the last cell phone use (9:08 pm) exactly three minutes had passed.

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So, the 3.9km and three minutes to go distinguish the moment of cell phone use and the car impact with young lathens‌.

Judge Crown called the scaffolding of the virtual fabric “theory”, “due to space-time, [de causalité] Cell phone use is broken between collision ”.