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Her car was totalled in a rear-end crash caught on dash cam, so why wasn’t the other driver charged?

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Two London drivers say they can’t believe police won’t recommend charges against a driver who started a rear-end, chain reaction crash that damaged five vehicles and was captured on camera.

For Zita Sharon, she said the crash totalled her car and ruined her Christmas. 

“[The driver] caused all the damages and there’s no charge, that’s not at all fair,” said Sharon. “He didn’t even try to slow down.” 

The crash happened on Sunday Dec. 23 at about 3 p.m. at the intersection of Highbury Avenue North and Oxford Street East.

Sharon was travelling southbound on Highbury in her 2018 Hyundai Elantra, purchased earlier this year. She had slowed down because a group of cars ahead of her had stopped for a red light at Oxford. 

What happened next was captured in the rear- and front-facing dashboard cameras in Sharon’s car. 

You can watch the video here:

Front- and rear-facing cameras in Zita Sharon’s car show how she was rear-ended in Sunday’s collision 0:07

Without warning, Sharon’s car was slammed into from behind. Her car was violently driven forward about the space of two car lengths before smashing into a car stopped in front of her.

“I just heard this ‘Boom!'” she said.

“The air bags opened, there was smoke all over. I was in shock, shivering. It happened in a second. It was really scary.” 

The rear-view camera footage shows the car failing to slow down as it slammed into Sharon’s rear bumper. Four other vehicles were also damaged. 

Among them was Marcia Pauli’s car. She too can’t believe there are no charges. 

“I’m very unhappy about that because my eight-year-old child was in the car with me and that upsets me that [that the driver] won’t be charged,” she said.

Pauli says she’s suffering from neck pain and Sharon says she has bruising in her legs, along with neck and shoulder pain.

Sharon’s insurance company told her that her car is a write-off. Pauli is awaiting word from her insurance company. 

The crash left three cars badly damaged. 0:35

Police were on scene, but no charges

Sharon said a police officer came to the scene but told her the driver who ran into her would not be charged. Sharon said the officer offered no further explanation and was also not interested in seeing the dash-cam footage.

“She seemed to be in a rush to leave,” said Sharon.

CBC News raised Sharon and Pauli’s concerns with the London Police Service.

In crashes that cause more than $2,000 in damages but result in no serious injuries, the drivers involved must go to the collision reporting centre, which Sharon did.

Collision reporting centre staff only gather information for insurance purposes. Unlike police, they can’t recommend charges.

Zita Sharon says the crash totalled her car and ruined her Christmas holiday. (Submitted by Pradip Jain)

London police Const. Jose Montoya said it’s common that charges are not laid in incidents that involve minor injuries, even when there is evidence suggesting a driver is at fault. 

“Once it reaches the police reporting centre, it just goes through insurance,” said Montoya. “If it only is a collision with no injuries then it gets redirected to the reporting centre, that’s the policy we work with.”

Montoya said if someone was taken to hospital with injuries, then the responding officer is more likely to recommend charges.

For the two women, that’s not good enough.

They’ll have to recover from their injuries and deal with the hassles created by the crash at a busy time of year.

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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