14 member jury for Lac Megantic train derailment trial to be selected today

By on September 29, 2017

MONTREAL— The final step of jury selection begins today for the trial of those accused in the 2013 Lac-Megantic train derailment that killed 47 people and destroyed part of the town.

Three former railway employees train driver Thomas Harding, traffic controller Richard Labrie and manager of train operations Jean Demaitre each face one charge of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people.

Thomas Walsh, one of the defence lawyers, says he expects the 14-member jury to be formed by Friday afternoon.

He says the trial should begin Monday.

The Crown has signalled it will call 24 civilian and 11 police witnesses, and one expert witness in a trial that is expected to last until December.

All three accused have pleaded not guilty.

The bankrupt former railway company Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway has also pleaded not guilty to causing the deaths of 47 people and will face a separate trial at a later date.

Between 800 and 1,200 prospective jurors were called to court in the initial days of jury selection.

Those who were deemed sufficiently bilingual and who didn’t know any of the 47 people who died in 2013 were invited to court today for the final selection.

“It was a major event in this area,” said Walsh. “So you can imagine a lot of people knew someone (who died) or who was affected.”

The trial is being held in Sherbrooke, Que,. 150 kilometres east of Montreal.