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Crown argues dump truck driver accused in deadly crash 'wasn't paying attention'

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The trial of a Victoria Harbour man accused of dangerous driving causing death after a collision three years ago in Severn Township wrapped up with the Crown pointing to speeding and the Defence blaming the road conditions.

The court heard John Bull, 60, was driving along Quarry Road on February 5, 2021, when Vallee crossed the centreline in his dump truck and sideswiped Bull's vehicle, causing it to roll into a ditch near St. Amant Road.

Bull died at the scene.

Vallee, who is now 38, was arrested and charged months after the deadly collision.

"He was simply driving too fast. He lost control," said Crown Attorney Mary Anne Alexander in a Barrie courtroom on Monday.

Alexander argued Vallee was speeding and failed to make the turn, hitting a snowbank and crossing into oncoming traffic.

"It's indicative of somebody who just wasn't paying attention," the Crown said. "Quite frankly, I think he was tuned out."

The Crown told Justice Susan Healey that Vallee's driving presented a marked departure from the standard of care of a reasonable person in the same circumstances.

She told the courtroom Vallee's "reckless behaviour" prevented him from making the turn safely.

The defence countered that Vallee lost control of the dump truck he was driving that morning because of the snow and slush, arguing the road conditions caused the vehicle to slide and crash.

Vallee's lawyer, Rachel Lichtman, told the judge the roads were deceptively wet and that Vallee's dump truck entered the turn under the speed limit.

"It's very clear that well before the turn, Mr. Vallee took steps to reduce his speed," she said.

The Crown noted Vallee was travelling 108 kilometres per hour 30 seconds before the crash and steadily slowed down until he was driving below the speed limit one second before the collision.

Justice Healey is expected to deliver judgment later this month.

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