Truck driver

Imminent trial for dump truck driver charged in Sault woman’s death

‘We have to put a stop to this,’ the justice of the peace said during Wednesday’s court appearance of Charles McMillan, charged with reckless driving causing death

After nearly a year and a half and numerous court appearances, a trial date will soon be set for a dump truck driver charged with reckless driving that caused the death of 51-year-old Maria Gagliardi.

Charles McMillan appeared in person before Justice of the Peace Kathleen Bryant at the provincial courthouse on Wednesday wearing blue jeans and a black print t-shirt. If convicted, he faces up to two years in prison.

Representatives of Gagliardi’s family were present for the appearance by teleconference.

McMillan faces a charge of reckless driving causing death in the incident on May 27, 2021. At the time, police ruled it a hit and run, but after an investigation McMillan was not charged to the criminal.

At the time, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Department said a collision investigation determined Gagliardi was walking in the area of ​​Second Line West and Brunswick Avenue when she was struck and killed by a dump truck, which was heading toward the south on Brunswick and turned west on Second Line.

Bryant noted that McMillan was absent or late for a number of previous appearances.

“Mr. McMillan, it’s time to move on. This needs to be adjudicated or resolved, there’s no getting around this,” she said . “We have to find an end to this.”

Bryant asked if a defense attorney had been hired, to which McMillan replied that he was still expecting two phone calls.

“After a year and a half? Bryant asked.

“I just got the money, I’m out of work,” McMillan replied.

McMillan faces additional charges after a July 22 collision on the 17 freeway.

In that incident, McMillan was charged with three offences, including reckless driving, operating a commercial vehicle without a license, and a notice of driver’s license suspension for operating a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol level above zero.

His employer, FKM Trucking, was also charged with allowing an unlicensed driver to drive a commercial vehicle.

Those July charges are separate from the one he faces in this upcoming trial.

Assistant Crown Attorney Matthew Caputo told Bryant that a period of incarceration was requested by the Crown in the case.

Bryant told McMillan in that case that he could seek legal help to represent him in the case.

Caputo replied that he understood that McMillan had been informed of this right several times over the past year and a half.

“The Crown’s position is that it has gone on long enough,” Caputo said.

“I agree,” Bryant replied.

A preliminary judicial trial has been set for November 21, after which dates will be set for the trial. Caputo said a number of witnesses will be called at the trial and suggested that four to five days be set aside when dates are finalized.