I had no idea that such a thing was occurring until last Thursday when the officer who investigated the incident phoned and asked if I could attend Court on Monday at 3:00. I believe in the back of my mind was the thought that "Gee, I get hit by a truck and nobody cares".
The York Civic Centre is a block-like building rather stuffy and dusty. It is filled with long lines of folks paying parking tickets and fines. In fact, my daughter Janet and I saw so many people shelling out dough that I wonder what City Council is talking about when they go on about budget problems. There is a wedding chapel that looks like as cheerless a place to tie the knot as you could imagine. The courtroom resembled a small chapel with pews for seats, flags, computers and microphones that didn't seem to work. Either my hearing is going or the acoustics in the room are terrible because I only seemed to get every second word, if that. A number of cases came and went and they got around to the garbage truck incident.
It is nerve wracking to take the stand. The bailiff (I assume) spoke very quickly and I'm not sure if I was supposed to say "I do" when swearing to tell the truth, but they accepted it. The Crown Attorney somewhat resembled one of the acting Reason brothers (must have been the curly hair), so I found that a little distracting (Does he look like Rhodes or Rex?). I told my story pretty much as related in my blog of last November and the defendant's attorney questioned me. Although the defendant wasn't in court, his lawyer gave 100% in trying to make me look the fool. I'll give him marks for referring to me as a "young lady" (blush), but beyond that we are not friends. He seemed quite stuck on the point that I didn't look for flashing lights on the truck. Well, I told him the truck was stopped - there were no lights, no motor noises - it was stopped while the garbage was being collected. The lawyer was also quite keen on the point that I didn't know which direction the truck was turning, north or south. I explained vehemently that I didn't know which direction the truck was traveling because my face was in the asphalt! In his summation, he said that "the victim claims she made eye contact, whatever that means". Oh, it's hard to sit still for such snark when you have hundreds of classic movie quotes at your disposal.
Ambassador Trentino: "I didn't come here to be insulted!"
Rufus T. Firefly: "That's what you think!"
Anyway, this is where the "vacuous victim" almost caused a ruckus in Court. When the police officer was on the stand there was a question as to the delineation of the crosswalk in question. Nobody knew. Was it outlined in white lines? Was it a plain corner? Ooh, ooh, I know. I raised my hand and tried to get someone's attention. The bailiff shook his finger at me like I was in kindergarten. The Court Officer told me I had to be still. Two little words, "red brick" could have cleared up the confusion. Despite my genuine motivation to be of assistance I should have realized I was overstepping some sort of Courtroom etiquette. I was chastened. I was embarrassed. Also, I should have recalled from my days of transcribing for a court reporting service that lawyers do NOT like to be told anything.
My late, lamented wheels
The defendant not being present his statement at the scene was read into the record. Now, I know it was an accident and he didn't mean me any harm, but to hear his side of the story some crazy woman ran in front of the truck and fell down. He was found guilty of some charge under the Motor Vehicle's Act and fined $125 payable in 60 days. I would have been happy if he paid for replacing my $35 grocery/laundry cart. Actually, I'm happy to think that it did matter that I had this accident. I will probably sleep well tonight without the aid of a pill. And I NEVER want to go to court again!