Sunday, January 24, 2010

Exhibit # 1 From the Coroners Inquest

Click on the image of the Hatheway Ford Maintenance Record 106038 for the 15 passenger van in which our sons were killed to see a larger version that you can read and print out.

Hatheway Ford Maintenance Record for November 19, 2007 for Bathurst High School Phantoms 15 passenger van

We decided to show the public the exhibits from the Coroners Inquest because we think it is important that people know why our sons were killed.

To quote from Transport Canada's Collision Investigation Report, authored by Frank Wilson of University of New Brunswick, there were three main causes of the tragic collision, one of which was the "poor mechanical condition" of the E350 passenger van.

"Poor mechanical condition of the E350 resulting from inadequate vehicle maintenance appears to be a major contributing factor in the crash. There were multiple mechanical issues, ranging from loose front ball joints to a broken rear brake cable. The most critical maintenance issue with respect to this crash was that the E350 was equipped with misaligned, worn and improperly inflated all-season tires. The handling of the E350 on the slush and snow covered road would have been significant better had the vehicle been equipped with properly inflated and aligned winter tires that had adequate tread depths."

Click here to read Transport Canada's Collision Investigation report, from July 28, 2009.

Exhibit One: Hatheway Ford maintenance Record 106038 Dated November 19, 2007

This exhibit tells us a few things.

1. On Monday, January 14, two days after the collision, somebody requested - presumably the insurance company - and someone at Hatheway Ford printed out the maintenance records for the passenger van in which our sons were killed.

2. The vehicle was brought into Hatheway Ford's garage on November 15, 2007 for maintenance. Interestingly, the vehicle had just been in the shop on November 2, and two days before that had passed a Motor Vehicle Inspection after first failing it on October 29, 2007. Within days its back in the garage to install a two inch ball and retainer clips, and on November 15, it's back in the garage for $600.26 worth of maintenance.

3. The vehicle was taken out of Hatheway Ford's garage on November 19, 2007. To us this means that the vehicle sat in the Hatheway Ford garage for four days and nobody noticed that it had worn, scalloped tires that were in dire need of replacement.

4. Mileage. The mileage recorded for the van on the last day it was in the shop was 312804. On the date of the collision the mileage was 316226, a difference of 3674 kms from November 19 to January 12, 2008. When you consider that there was no school for the Christmas holidays and the vehicle was not even being used, that means in the span of less than six weeks Bathurst High School put nearly 4000 kms on this vehicle with worn, scalloped tires and a host of other deficiencies as noted in the Collission Investigation report.

Next Maintenance Record for November 2, 2007 in which a two inch ball and retainer clips were installed on the van.