New trial ordered for Landon Gartner in deadly Saskatoon motorcycle crash

Saskatchewan’s highest court has ordered a new trial for Landon Gartner.

Gartner was driving a motorcycle on June 5, 2016, when it collided with another vehicle at the intersection of 8th Street East and Grosvenor Avenue.

A passenger on the motorcycle, Lindsay Facca, died from injuries she sustained in the crash.

Gartner was charged with dangerous driving causing death but was acquitted at his trial.

The Crown appealed, arguing the trial judge erred in his analysis in such a way that the verdict might have been different if the errors had not occurred.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal sided with the Crown.

The court said the trial judge erred by requiring the Crown to prove how fast Gartner was going at the time of the crash and failing to consider a video of the crash.

“The trial judge erred by expressly refusing to view the dash camera recording to determine Mr. Gartner’s position on the road when the light turned amber,” states the unanimous decision written by Justice Tholl.

“This was highly probative evidence on the issue of whether Mr. Gartner could have safely stopped. It was an error of law not to consider the evidence in its totality in relation to this issue.”

The appeal judges also found the trial judge erred when he said he required extensive expert evidence on a motorcycle’s safe stopping distance.

“In the circumstances of this specific matter, a trial judge would not require expert evidence in order to be able to reach reasonable inferences regarding the motorcycle’s ability to stop relative to other vehicles on the road,” Tholl said.

“Expert evidence was not required on the issue of the safe stopping distance for Mr. Gartner’s motorcycle.”

A date for a new trial has not been set.

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