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

A sign at the entrance of a dike trail. (Laurens van Vliet/Contributed)
LETTER: Please be respectful to landowners adjacent to Agassiz dikes

Laurens van Vliet asks people on dikes to be respectful of the farms around them

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

Part of Kent’s diking system as it passes through private property off Tramner Road. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)
LETTER: Dikes and farms have a long history in Agassiz

Agassiz resident Barbara Key shares her history with dikes and farms in Agassiz

Books. (Unsplash)
LIBRARY: Who decides what makes a good book?

Agassiz librarian Sharie Hertzog shares what she thinks makes a good book in her latest column

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

Most Read