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Judge orders arrest warrant for material witness in deadly dump truck crash trial

After two hours of arguments on Tuesday, Justice Mary Vallee made a decisive ruling, ordering the issuance of a material witness warrant for the arrest of Janeth Zambrano, the common-law spouse of Milton Urgiles.

The move was a last resort by the Crown after it told the judge Urgile's spouse failed to appear as a witness as requested in court this week.

The Crown alleged Zambrano deliberately avoided receiving the court subpoena, effectively sidestepping having to testify, while knowing for six months she was required to serve as a material witness in the trial of her partner in the dump truck crash that killed the driver.

Police also said it was difficult to serve Zambrano a subpoena to attend court during the preliminary hearing several months ago, adding it took several attempts.

The court heard Zambrano, who owns the trucking company that employs Urgiles as its supervisor, provided the dump truck involved in the crash on Sept. 22, 2020, resulting in the death of 53-year-old driver Denis Garant along the Adjala-Tecumseth Townline near Alliston.

The Crown presented text messages to the court as evidence that Garant let Urgiles know about issues with the truck's steering and that the supervisor replied with the location of the following day's job site but did not acknowledge Garant's concerns.

A collision reconstruction expert testified on Monday that Garant's dump truck was found to have a failed left front tire, which likely burst and caused the truck to veer to the left side.

The truck lost control and went into a ditch before slamming into a tree.

Police arrested Urgiles eight months after the fatal collision, saying a mechanical defect caused the crash. He is charged with criminal negligence causing death. Top Stories

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