Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Forensic expert says accused’s car was doing 142 km/h in crash that killed Surrey teen

Expert said he could find no evidence of braking prior to impact

An RCMP forensic expert testified Thursday at Rituraj Kaur Grewal’s trial in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster that the accused’s Cadillac was doing 142 km/h in a 60 km/h zone just prior to hitting Travis Selje’s car, killing the Surrey teenager.

Grewal is accused of criminal negligence causing death in the May 3, 2017 crash at the intersection of 64th Avenue and 176th Street in Cloverdale.

Corporal Craig Huitson produced a 39-page investigation report in court and explained how he arrived at that speed.

READ ALSO: Surrey cop found ‘crack pipe’ in jacket of driver accused in crash that killed teen

READ ALSO: Witness testifies car that hit Surrey teen’s Honda was going like ‘a bat out of hell’

Huitson is an expert in forensic collision reconstruction.

“I looked at vehicle dynamics, I looked at vehicle damage profiles. I subsequently did a calculation to determine speed from video,” he told the court. “I obtained the event data recorder information from the Cadillac. I then looked at that information, corroborated my speed calculation and provided a report.”

The court heard that video surveillance from a public storage facility across the street from a Shell gas station near the crash site assisted him.

“It was that camera that caught the crash unfolding,” he noted. Using reference points from the peak of a nearby hotel, utility poles, peaks of the gas station, and trees, he was able to identify distances that the vehicle travelled within the video.

READ ALSO: Witness testifies driver was doing up to 180 km/h, another says she ‘seemed to be intoxicated’

READ ALSO: Oxycodone found in blood of driver accused in Travis Selje’s death

“The Cadillac’s right headlight was in line with the illuminated peak on the hotel,” he noted. “The video provided a constant field of view from approximately the west side of the hotel up to almost the entirety of the Shell gas station.

“As the vehicle travels directly in front, I’m able to align the path of the vehicle in line with the tangible points of reference as seen in the video,” he explained. “It kind of sounds complex, it isn’t really.

“I set up a forensic instrument to survey where the camera position is. From there, I looked back at all those various tangible points of reference and shot them all with forensic equipment and from there I was able to ascertain where the vehicle moved across the video.”

That, Huitson told the court, provided him with a scale image and from there he could align parts of the vehicle, as seen in the video, with points of reference “because they don’t move.”

He concluded, based on his calculations – number of frames divided by the frame rate – told him the time.

“It’s basically a distance in time problem. Vehicle travels X number of metres in so many seconds, and that equates to a speed.”

He said he did two calculations, with the first yielding 141 km/h and the second 142 km/h.

“That is an average speed from the point I started in the first frame, to the next frame, and so on and so forth, over that distance, an average speed.”

Huitson noted that the car’s event data recorder is a system that runs in the background and continually monitors vehicle parameters.

“In the event of a crash, it captures the crash data and the last five seconds prior to that,” he told the court. “It can capture a myriad of data from speed, throttle, brakes, steering, yaw rate.”

“There was no evidence of braking that I could see or find,” he told the court, “to indicate that the driver of the vehicle was braking prior to impact.”

The trial continues.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

BC Supreme Courtcar crashSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hospital outbreaks included in Fraser Health update Feb. 28, 2021. (Black Press file)
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreaks at Chilliwack General and Surrey Memorial

The medicine units are temporarily closed but ERs remain open, according to Fraser Health update

.
COVID-19 cases increasing again in Fraser Health

Fraser North is seeing the greatest growth, Fraser East also heading up

Peter Flynn sits at the piano at a Christmas concert. Flynn retired at the end of 2020 and sat down with The Standard to reflect on his long career in the Hope area. (Photo/Peter Flynn)
EXTENDED INTERVIEW: Coquihalla’s longtime elementary school teacher retires

Peter Flynn reflects on decades as a teacher in Hope, teaching at school he went to as a child

Two teens were sent to hospital after being stabbed Saturday evening. (Shane MacKichan photo)
Two teens stabbed in Abbotsford

20-year-old man has been detained

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

The humanoid sensing robot has a 3D printed finger cap that measures oxygen levels. (Dr. Woo Soo Kim)
Medical care robots being made with 3D origami in B.C. lab

Would you let a robot take your temperature?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

FILE  - In this Friday, Jan 1, 2021 file photo, a lorry driver's documents are scanned on a phone as he passes a checkpoint for the train through the Eurotunnel link with Europe in Folkestone, England. One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union's economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. Meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of byzantine new paperwork. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FINLAYSON: Government should focus on strengthening B.C.’s leading export industries

To revive the economy, this piece in the strategy is integral, writes Jock Finlayson

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Most Read