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2020 police interview with supervisor charged in dump truck driver's death plays in court

A police interview from 2021 with Milton Urgiles, the man charged with criminal negligence causing the death of one of his workers in 2020, played in a Barrie courtroom on Thursday as the two-week trial continued.

"He told you the day before, and then he died in the same truck the next day. That doesn't look good," said the officer in the interview.

Urgiles, with the help of an interpreter, told police he wanted to help them with their investigation into the deadly dump truck crash that killed 53-year-old driver Denis Garant eight months earlier.

In the court exhibit, Urgiles said he "swears to God that the truck was fine and that the reason the tire went flat is not because of the problem with the steering wheel" before telling police he wanted to speak to his lawyer.

That was when police charged Urgiles with criminal negligence causing death, alleging a mechanical defect caused the dump truck to leave the road, crash into a ditch and hit the tree on Sept. 22, 2020.

The trial, which got underway last week, has faced several delays and complications, including the failure of a key witness who the Crown said had deliberately avoided receiving the court subpoena, effectively sidestepping having to testify against her spouse, Urgiles.

Justice Mary Vallee agreed to issue a warrant for the arrest of Janeth Zambrano, who was asked to testify in court to give evidence in the trial of her common-law partner, whom the court heard served as Garant's supervisor at the trucking company owned by his spouse.

The Crown also presented text messages from Garant to his supervisor, Urgiles, the next day before the deadly crash along the Adjala-Tecumesth Townline between Concessions 2 and 3, expressing his concerns with the truck's steering.

The court must now decide whether Zambrano's prior testimony in the preliminary hearing six months ago will be admitted as evidence in Urgiles' trial.

The two-week trial was supposed to conclude Friday; however, the defence told the court it still needed to present more evidence. Top Stories


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