Trial judge commends 911 caller

On Friday, jury and court members visited the scene of the accident. - Photo: Jewel Levy

Justice Malcolm Swift commended a witness on Thursday after she and senior Crown counsel Tricia Hutchinson read through a transcript of her call to 911 when a vehicle hit two pedestrians along West Bay Road on Jan. 25, 2015.

Lisa Ebanks was giving evidence in the trial of Simon Courtney, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm and dangerous or reckless driving.

“Well done on the 911 call,” Justice Swift told Ms. Ebanks. “That was pretty brave of you.”

Ms. Ebanks, the property manager for Villas of the Galleon on West Bay Road, told the court that at around 5 p.m. on Jan. 25, she was sitting with her father and guests in front of her office, waiting for other guests who were due to check in. She heard a noise and saw two “things” go into the air. She asked a guest what they were and was told, “Those are two people.”

Ms. Ebanks said she called 911, while guest Kelli Travis Parker ran ahead of her to the front of the property to help the accident victims, Richard and Kathy Schubert.

Ms. Ebanks said while she was on the phone with the 911 operator, she saw a man coming from the vicinity of the entrance/exit and going toward her office door. She asked twice if she could help him, but he did not respond either time. Ms. Ebanks said that the man, whom she understood had been in the car involved in the accident, walking in the general vicinity of the laundry room. She explained that Villas of the Galleon is next to The Ritz-Carlton property and The Ritz-Carlton “has a big wall between us. The laundry room backs up almost to that wall.”

When the operator asked her to describe the man who had come through her property, Ms. Ebanks did, noting that the man had gotten out of his car, leaving his wife in the vehicle, and one of the tires had come off the car.

Jury visits scene

On Friday morning, the judge and jury, along with attorneys and court staff, visited the scene at Villas of the Galleon, where Ms. Ebanks pointed out areas she had given evidence about on Thursday afternoon.

The court group then walked to The Ritz-Carlton, where they followed the path taken by a man identified as the defendant as he was shown on CCTV going through resort corridors, around the pool area and onto the beach.

The group also saw Seven restaurant, where Courtney, his wife and two others had attended a five-hour champagne brunch prior to the incident.

Justice Swift had explained to the jury that it was not usual for a defendant to attend a site visit, although it was his right to do so if he wished. In this case, the defendant did not attend.

On Friday afternoon, witnesses included Collin Redden, an accident reconstructionist who attended the scene, took photos and measurements, and examined the vehicle involved. It was a Mustang Shelby GT 500, which he described as a track-inspired, high-performance vehicle with two to three times as much horsepower as an average passenger car.

He agreed with Justice Swift that the manufacturers recommended particular tires for the car and recommended that they not be replaced with anything else.