N.B. woman who drove on wrong side of divided highway killed longtime friend

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FREDERICTON - A woman who drove on the wrong side of a divided highway learned at the hospital that the other driver she ended up striking and killing was a longtime family friend, a court heard Wednesday.
Wanda Anne Christie, 61, of Fredericton is on trial on a charge of criminal negligence causing death in an accident on the Vanier Highway on Dec. 21, 2007.
Gerald R. True, 61, was killed in the crash.
Wayne Christie, the accused's son, told the court his mother suffered a broken ankle in the crash and was being treated in hospital when she was told the identity of the victim.
"She was speechless ... she cried," he testified.
Christie told the court was driving on the Vanier Highway on his way to meet his mother when he noticed her driving just ahead of him.
He said he pulled alongside her when the road turned to a divided highway and honked his horn to let her know he was there, then passed her.
He said he thought she would follow him to where they were supposed to meet, but she pulled off at the wrong exit.
Minutes later, he noticed his mother driving the wrong way in the westbound lane, on the other side of the concrete median.
He matched her speed and tried to warn her, he said.
"I honked my horn, I don't know how many times," Wayne Christie testified.
Unable to get her attention, he accelerated and tried to get to the next exit so he could loop around and head her off.
"At that point, it was too late," he said, noting that by the time he got to the bottom of the westbound ramp at Wilsey Road, the collision had already occurred.
In other testimony, Michael Hetherington said he was driving on the highway when his passenger pointed out a car headed the wrong way down the highway.
Hetherington said he flicked his lights at the motorist and honked his horn, but the female driver seemed oblivious to the situation.
He said three vehicles in the same lane as Christie's car had near misses with her, including a transport truck that had to veer out of the way.
Emergency-room nurse Michele Tizzard testified that Wanda Christie told her about the accident.
"She said she remembered going down the wrong exit ... and hitting a car head-on," she said.
The nurse said she learned that Christie was taking a variety of medications, including the painkiller Dilaudid, for several health issues, including back pain and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Organizations: Christie's

Geographic location: FREDERICTON, Wilsey Road

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  • Timmah
    January 18, 2010 - 09:41

    Let this be a reminder to all of those that drive up revere street, yes ive watched countless people do it, and the time that something does happen and i am the witness, i'll know who is at fault, its your own dumb faults for wanting to shave a lil time off your hands