The automotive technician who certified a 17-year-old vehicle as safe one month before it was involved in a deadly crash will not face a charge of criminal negligence causing death.
The charge against Joe Ramono of Scarborough, Ont. was dismissed Friday by Ontario Superior Court of Justice Judge Robert Graydon.
Graydon did, however, order Ramono to stand trial on a new count of uttering a false document – a safety certificate that gave a clean bill of health to a 1995 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup with over 400,000 kilometers on the odometer.
Crown attorney Lisa Wannamaker said the prosecution will review the ruling to determine if there are grounds to appeal to a higher court judge to force Ramono to stand trial on the charge of criminal negligence causing death.
“We’re still exploring our options,” she said. “If that was the right decision in law, then that is what it is.”
Ramono, who has been on leave of absence from his job as an automotive technician since he was charged, says he did nothing wrong.
“Of course I checked that vehicle,” he told Canadian Technician as he was leaving the court in Cobourg, Ont. “There was nothing wrong with it.”
Ramono was charged in November 2012 with criminal negligence causing death, following an investigation by the Peterborough detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
The charge stemmed from a fatal head-on collision near Peterborough, Ont. on Aug. 3, 2012, in which the Dodge pickup, driven by 21-year-old Joseph William Towns of Lakefield, Ont. crashed into a vehicle driven by Abigail MacNaughton, 27, of Peterborough.
MacNaughton died of her injuries.
Towns was charged with dangerous driving causing death, criminal negligence causing death, and two counts of uttering false documents.
Ramono had certified the Dodge pickup truck as being safe a month earlier, on July 4, 2012. The results of the police investigation into the crash suggest that the pickup truck did not meet safety standards and shouldn’t have been on the road.
The criminal case, which remains under a publication ban, will next come before a judge in Peterborough, Ont. on July 30.