The trial of Lac-Mégantic resumed Wednesday with arguments from the lawyers

Photo: Paul Chiasson, The canadian Press
The derailment tragedy of a convoy of 72 cars carrying crude oil occurred on July 6, 2013.

The trial of three men accused of criminal negligence in the terrible rail accident in Lac-Mégantic draws to its end. For three days, from Wednesday morning, the argument of Crown prosecutors and those accused will be heard at the courthouse of Sherbrooke.


The derailment tragedy of a convoy of 72 cars carrying crude oil occurred on July 6, 2013. It has killed 47 people and leveled part of the city centre of this small town in the eastern Townships.


This, however, is that this fall, on October 2, that the criminal trial commenced before the judge Gaetan Dumas in the superior Court.


The Crown argued at trial that the train, which weighed more than 10,000 tons, had not been properly immobilized on the railway, on the eve of the tragedy, and was therefore at the top of a slope precariously. The three defendants were responsible for ensuring that the train was safe, had pleaded at the trial the Crown prosecutors.


In their opening statement, they had stated that without the negligence of the three former employees, there would have been no victims in Lac-Mégantic.


Them, being the head of the train, Tom Harding, and two employees of the railway company, Montreal Maine Atlantic (MMA), Richard Labrie and Jean Demaître, have pleaded not guilty.


They have not called as a witness and not testify at their trial. This is the Crown that has the burden of proof to demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, the criminal negligence of the accused.


As to the Crown, she did hear 31 witnesses, including police officers, firefighters, former employees of the MMA, and a Transport Canada inspector. One expert on the railways has been called to the bar.


When the pleadings are completed, the judge will give the jury its instructions and deliberations will begin.


The company MMA, which is in bankruptcy, has also pleaded not guilty to a charge of criminal negligence and will undergo a separate trial.