Trucking company, driver charged in connection with death of minivan driver in Edmonton

Nearly six months after a driver was killed when something fell off a semi-truck and hit her minivan as she travelled on Lessard Road, the Edmonton Police Service said charges have been laid in connection with the incident.

While none of the charges are criminal, the 66-year-old driver of a semi-truck and the company he works for have been charged with a number of traffic and vehicle safety offences.

Police said officers were called to Lessard Road, near the Anthony Henday overpass, at about 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 28, 2020. Someone reported that a minivan was headed east on Lessard Road when something hit it.

The 36-year-old driver of the minivan, teacher Meghan Weis, was pronounced dead at the scene.

READ MORE: Edmonton teacher ‘deeply loved by all’ identified as victim of Lessard Road crash 

“Investigators determined that an eight-wheel converter dolly separated from the semi-tractor-trailer unit and struck the driver side of the van,” police said in a news release issued Thursday.

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“The semi-tractor unit was travelling westbound on Lessard Road when the dolly dislodged from the truck and crossed the centre median and into oncoming traffic, before colliding with the van.”

The driver of the semi-truck has been charged with operating a commercial vehicle in a prohibited manner contrary to regulations under the Traffic Safety Act. Under the Commercial Vehicle Safety Regulations, the driver has been charged with failing to prepare a trip inspection report.

“The brakes of the trailer referred to in subsection must, if the trailer breaks away from the towing vehicle, at the time that the trailer breaks away, be automatically applied, as specified under the CVSR,” police said.

The driver has also been charged with taking a heavy truck off of a truck route as stipulated under City of Edmonton Bylaw 5590.

Rene Transport Ltd., the trucking company involved, has also been charged under the CVSR, police said.

The charges against the company stem from the latch mechanism for the trailer’s hitch allegedly not closing securely, equipment safety system allegedly not being maintained in good working order and attachments for the towing trailer allegedly not having sufficient strength to pull all the weight being towed.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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