The dump-truck driver involved in the deadly collision that killed South Surrey’s Jim Neiss told a Langley RCMP officer that his decision to cross a double-yellow line was a “bad three-second mistake.”
“He said something to the effect of ‘this feels like a bad dream,’” Const. Robert Johnston said of Glen Edwards Theriault, during testimony last week in Surrey Provincial Court.
Theriault is charged with dangerous driving causing death in connection with the Jan. 18, 2011 head-on collision that killed 59-year-old Neiss.
Johnston told the court that following Theriault’s arrest at the scene – in the 19800-block of 16 Avenue – Theriault told him he thought it had been clear to pass, and that he did not see Neiss’s pickup as it travelled in the eastbound lane on 16 Avenue.
The collision compressed the front section of Neiss’s Ford Explorer into less than half its width.
Johnston further testified that Theriault appeared to be in shock, and had expressed concern that he would be fired.
“He wanted to collect his personal items (from the dump truck),” Johnston said. “He was concerned he would not be able to retrieve them if he was fired.”
While Theriault had declined to make an official statement at the police station, he made a number of comments while he was in custody, Johnston said.
The comments, along with others made in the hours following his arrest, were the subject of a voir dire that focused on whether or not Theriault’s charter rights had been violated.
Crown counsel Winston Sayson said Monday that Judge Paul Dohm ruled the comments were voluntary.
The trial is to continue on Sept. 17.