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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?





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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‘Too soon to celebrate’ Ottawa’s low case count, says Etches





Ottawa Public Health (OPH) logged just 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the lowest daily total since Sept. 1.

Because of the lag between testing and reporting, the low number could simply reflect low turnout at the city’s testing sites on weekends — all month, new case counts have been lower on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

During a virtual news conference Tuesday, the city’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said she doesn’t read too much into a single day’s report.

“I don’t think we can make too much of 11. Actually, it could be a lot higher tomorrow — I would expect that, on average,” she said. “It’s too soon to celebrate.”

Provincewide, public health officials reported 1, 249 new cases Tuesday.

OPH also declared 62 cases resolved Tuesday, lowering the number of known active cases in the city to 462. Two more people have died, both in care homes currently experiencing outbreaks, raising the city’s COVID-19 death toll to 361. 

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Santa Claus isn’t coming to Ottawa’s major malls this year





Santa Claus may still be coming to town this Christmas, but he won’t be dropping by any of Ottawa’s major malls, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, Cadillac Fairview said Santa won’t be making an appearance at any of its 19 malls across Canada, including Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa. On Tuesday, Bayshore and St. Laurent shopping centres confirmed they, too, are scrapping the annual tradition.

“Due to the evolution of the situation in regards to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Santa Program and Gift Wrap Program this year,” Bayshore spokesperson Sara Macdonald wrote in an email to CBC.

Macdonald said parent company Ivanhoé Cambridge cancelled all holiday activities “due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country.”

Macdonald said families that had already booked an appointment to visit Santa will receive an email with more information.  

Virtual visits with Santa

Rideau Centre said based on customer research and discussions with public health officials, its North Pole is going online this year.

“Children will be able to have a private chat with Santa,” said Craig Flannagan, vice-president of marketing for Cadillac Fairview. “You’ll also be able to join a 15-minute storytime with Santa over Facebook Live.” 

At Place d’Orléans Shopping Centre, visitors are invited to take a “selfie with Santa” — actually, a life-size cutout of Santa Pierre, the man who’s been playing Santa at the east end mall for years.

“We understand that this is not ideal, but in lieu of this tradition we will be doing what we can to maintain and encourage holiday cheer,” according to a statement on the mall’s Facebook page.

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Ottawa Bylaw breaks up two large parties in Ottawa over the weekend





OTTAWA — Ottawa Bylaw is investigating social gatherings of more than 10 people in private homes across Ottawa last weekend.

Mayor Jim Watson tells Newstalk 580 CFRA that Ottawa Bylaw broke-up two house parties over the weekend, with 20 to 25 people at each party.

“That’s the kind of stupidity that angers me, that’s where the bulk of the transmissions are taking place, if we exclude the tragedy of the long-term care homes; it’s these house parties with unrelated people,” said Watson on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts.

“The message doesn’t seem to be getting through, particularly to some young people who think they’re invincible.”

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Bylaw and Regulatory Services Director Roger Chapman says, “There are still ongoing investigations from this past weekend that could result in charges.”

Chapman says recent investigations led to two charges being issued for social gatherings of more than 10 people in a private residence in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act.

“In one case, up to 30 individuals were observed attending a house party in Ward 18 on Oct. 24,” said Chapman.

“The second charge was issued following a house party in Ward 16 on Oct. 31, where up to 16 individuals were observed to be in attendance.”

The fine is $880 for hosting an illegal gathering.

Alta Vista is Ward 18, while Ward 16 is River Ward.

Ottawa Bylaw has issued 24 charges for illegal gatherings since the start of the pandemic.

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