Judge Reserves Decision In Costco Case

Ruth Burger arrives at the London court house with her lawyer, Ron Ellis. Monday, June 1, 2015. Photo by Ashton Patis

The judge will release his decision June 19 on whether Ruth Burger is criminally responsible for the deaths of two children at a south London Costco.

Both Crown Attorney Fraser Ball and Defence Lawyer Ron Ellis made their final submissions on Tuesday afternoon, after the accused, Ruth Burger, testified at her own trial.

The 66-year-old broke down on the stand as she told the court her foot became stuck under the brake pedal of her 2004 MonteCarlo, sending it speeding towards a pregnant mother and her two children on July 25, 2014.

She says she has not gotten behind the wheel of a car since the crash that killed 6-year-old Addison Hall and her newborn sister, Rhiannon McKinnon-Bozek, who was delivered via emergency c-section.

“I was sure my foot would come out…I’ve been driving forever. I don’t know what happened, I don’t,” the teary woman told the Crown Attorney during cross examination. “As I was going back I was wiggling more and more,  pressing down, trying to get my foot out… The last thing I remember was hearing the glass crashing.”

Data shows Burger’s car accelerated from 11km/h to 46km/h in the five seconds leading up to the crash. The gas pedal was at full throttle, not once did she hit the brake during that time.

Through sobs, she told the court “I remember thinking oh no, oh no, oh no!”

Her shoes were presented as evidence to the judge. The right one has a black smudge on the top of the toe area.

It is now up to Justice Jonathan George to decide if she is criminally responsible for the deaths of the two girls.

The Crown argued Burger could have honked her horn, pulled the emergency brake, turned off the car or put it in neutral before crashing through the doors, killing the two. Ball told the judge the failure to do any of those things shows negligence.

He told the judge 6-year-old Hall was “essentially rendered a projectile” by Burger’s actions, noting “horrific driving led to horrific consequences.”

She faces two charges of criminal negligence causing death and two charges of criminal negligence causing bodily harm. Both the mother, Danah McKinnon-Bozek and 3-year-old Miah Bozek were seriously injured.

Meanwhile, Defence Lawyer Ellis argued Burger’s did everything she could “that fateful and tragic day.” He says the data shows her efforts concentrated on what she knew was the problem and she attempted to free her foot and hit the brake, but simply ran out of time and space.

Prior testimony heard from one witness who described the scene as “carnage”,  while others said it was pure chaos.