The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reopening an investigation into a crash after one of the drivers posted a dashcam video of the accident on Facebook.
The accident occurred on March 1 on a highway near Kenora, Ont. Ralph Ireland and his wife, Ifka Filipovich, were travelling home to Sioux Lookout from Winnipeg. On the Kenora Bypass, the couple were driving along and listening to the radio when suddenly a green pickup truck carrying a trailer entered the highway in front of them from a side road. Although the truck slowed down before making a left hand turn onto the highway, it did not stop.
Said Ireland, "Had I not hit the brakes, he'd be dead. And we might be as well."
On Tuesday, Ireland posted a portion of the video from the dashcam on Facebook. His vehicle is travelling along the lightly-travelled road and the pickup truck suddenly appears in front of him. He slams on the brakes but cannot avoid a collision.
Filipovich can be heard saying she's hurt and "Oh my God" several times. The other driver approaches the couple and can be heard saying, "Is everybody okay? I'm so sorry. It was solely my fault."
There were no major injuries and and the OPP charged the driver of the pickup truck with failing to yield to traffic.
Ireland said, "I've gone through that video probably a hundred times to see if there was something I could have done to avoid it. Going through the video it looks like he didn't stop and just pulled out." Filipovich added, "He didn't stop, he was on his telephone."
After the video was posted and went viral, OPP Const. Ronnie Grosenick said police have seen the video and it does appear the other driver was talking on his cellphone. The investigation is continuing into laying a charge of distracted driving against the driver of the truck for operating a vehicle while holding an electronic communication device.
More people are having dashcams installed in their vehicles. Ireland recently had one installed after his daughter was involved in an accident with a hit-and-run driver. Brian Smiley, a spokesman for Manitoba Public Insurance said, "They are becoming more popular and as they become more popular, then our customers and people who have been in crashes will then bring forward that footage to show our adjusters."
On March 18, the fine for distracted driving in Ontario will increase to $280 from $155. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, more deaths now occur from someone talking or texting than from drunk driving.