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Driver in fatal crash ran red light: witness
A driver who killed a young couple in Pitt Meadows three years ago ran a red light before she lost control of her car, witness testified Wednesday at a trial in New Westminster Supreme Court.
Rebecca ‘Beckie’ Dyer, 19, and her boyfriend, Johnny De Oliveira, 21, were killed around midnight Oct. 19. 2010, when a Toyota driven by Andelina Kristina Hecimovic skidded sideways over a concrete median, flipped over and landed on top of their Suzuki Swift.
The couple, returning home from a Justin Beiber concert, died instantly, just two blocks away from the apartment they shared with Dyer’s mom.
Hecimovic, now 26, walked away with minor injuries. She is facing two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
“A car came flying by the right side of us and flew through the intersection, then it stated fishtailing,” said Chelsey Storrings, who was in a truck that had stopped for a red light at the intersection of Harris Road and Lougheed Highway.
Storrings, 20, watched the red Toyota drift towards the concrete median and land on top of another car.
“It almost seems like there was dust everywhere when they hit,” she said.
“Everything was just so shocking.”
She believed the Toyota was being driven well over the speed limit of 80 kilometres an hour.
After witnessing the crash, Storrings and her friends pulled over and called 911. They walked over to the crushed Suzuki, but were told to stand back by a man who was already checking on Dyer and De Oliveira.
Storrings then walked over to the red Toyota, which had landed across three lanes of traffic on a grass stretch near the Ramada Inn.
Hecimovic was crying and in a panic.
“She just seemed very disoriented,” said Storrings, a passenger in a silver truck driven by her friend, Ashley Devries.
They too were returning home from Beiber’s sold-out show in Vancouver.
Devries told the court she was stopped at the red light when a red car whizzed past her in the right-turn-only lane.
Instead of turning onto Harris Rd., the car continued through the intersection.
“I was startled,” said Devries.
“I assumed they were going to take a right turn.”
She too insisted the Toyota was speeding.
“I thought the car was going at 120 kilometres [an hour],” Devries said.
Once the light turned green, Devries drove her truck across the intersection and pulled over. She instantly knew the couple in the smashed Suzuki had not survived the impact.
“The vehicle was crushed and we could tell no one was OK,” she said.
Hecimovic was about a kilometre from her home on Meadow Gardens Way when she crashed.
Family and friends of Dyer and De Oliveira filled the court room to hear testimony from witnesses who saw Hecimovic driving aggressively.
Dyer’s mother Debbie acknowledged it must have been hard to be cross examined by Hecimovic’s lawyer.
“I am amazed at the witnesses,” said Dyer.
“I guess when you see something so horrific, it never leaves you. My thanks to all of them.”
Crown expects to conclude its case on Friday following testimony from an accident reconstructionist. Defence arguments are expected to begin next week.