Family waits for trial
Almost one year since a horrific car crash in Belcarra killed 16-year-old passenger Melissa Tomac, the Burnaby teen’s parents say they are still anxiously awaiting the driver’s day in court.
Christopher Baires, 19, faces nine charges, including impaired and dangerous driving causing death and causing an accident resulting in bodily harm.
The charges stem from the evening of Sept. 2, 2010, when Baires was driving with Tomac and two other friends after a day at Sasamat Lake’s White Pine Beach. The four teens tried to overtake another car on a blind corner of Bedwell Bay Road when the driver lost control of the vehicle, hitting the trees lining the road.
All four occupants were taken to Royal Columbian Hospital, where Melissa Tomac died four hours later of her injuries.
“I told my daughter that day, ‘Just stay home today,’” Melissa’s father, Mario Tomac, told The Tri-City News outside the Port Coquitlam courthouse Tuesday. “Then I got a phone call at 7:30 saying I had to go to Royal Columbian, that it was a real emergency.
“I always thought it was kids who were supposed to bury their parents.”
Mario Tomac was joined Tuesday by Melissa’s mother, Dinah, and sister-in-law, Heather, for the family’s sixth appearance in PoCo court awaiting the start of Baires’ trial.
Baires was charged with the nine offences in June.
A date to begin the trail was to be set on Tuesday but Baires’ lawyer, Kevin Westell, asked that the matter be pushed back while the defence continues to prepare its case. The judge agreed to set a date of Sept. 14 for Baires’ arraignment hearing.