Calgary mother screamed 'stop' as she watched 4-year-old girl fatally run over by truck, trial hears

Holding back tears, Sam Toulon said she screamed for a truck to stop in the moments before it drove over her four-year-old daughter, Avi, in a Bowness intersection last year. 

Toulon was testifying at the careless driving trial of Tanis Lambert, 39, who was driving a pickup truck when she struck the girl on May 6, 2016.

But there are conflicting stories of whether Lambert stopped ahead of the fatal accident. 

Toulon, her husband and their six children were on their way home from a walk to the river at about 8:15 p.m. that day.

As the family made its way through the intersection, the eldest children were in the lead, and Toulon was bringing up the rear while holding her baby. She testified she noticed the Ford-F150 approaching without slowing down.

"I then screamed, 'Stop,'" said Toulon. "My other children were still on the road."

Her eight-year-old son yelled "run" at his sister Avi but it was too late; the truck drove over the pre-schooler as her family members looked on unable to help.

Parents rush to daughter's side

Afterward, Toulon's husband let go of the family dog as he ran to his daughter and scooped her into his arms. 

Toulon called 911 while trying to calm her other children as the dog ran circles around the family, which was still in the middle of the road. 

Lambert didn't have a stop sign but motorists are required by law to yield to pedestrians. 

On that point, witnesses had conflicting testimony. Toulon told the court that the truck did not stop while a neighbour who witnessed the fatal collision said it did.

'I knew it wasn't good'

Steven Stredulinsky told provincial court Judge Josh Hawkes that he noticed the truck's brake lights come on. 

Holding back emotion, Stredulinsky said he also ran to Avi and tried to stop the girl's bleeding.

"I knew it wasn't good," he said. "I was trying to hold her head so that maybe we had a chance."

Outside the courtroom, Lambert said Stredulinsky's evidence is the same story she's been telling all along.

"It was a horrible accident," said Lambert.

The Crown's final witness was scheduled to testify Wednesday afternoon.