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Trial resumes for former bartender accused in deadly Calabogie crash

Ann Senack will be back in virtual court as the trial enters its third week.
2017-12-07 Shooters Bar and Grill
Shooter's Bar and Grill, 2017. Photo/ Google Maps

Today marks the day 11 in the trial of Ann Senack, the former bartender at Shooters Bar and Grill in Calabogie, who is facing two counts each of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm following a fatal crash in October of 2017.

She was charged by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) early in 2019, after it was alleged she served alcohol to Brandon Hanniman and Alex Paquette, who both died as a result of their car slamming into a rock face on Calabogie Road shortly after midnight on October 27. Along with Jacob McGrimmon and Ben Scheuneman, the other passengers who survived the crash, Senack is accused of serving alcohol to the under-aged men, all 18-years old at the time, over a two hour period, prior to them getting in the car driven by Hanniman as they attempted to make their way home to Renfrew.

The Crown Attorney’s Office, represented by Assistant-Crown Attorneys Richard Morris and Caitlin Downing, has argued the defendant failed to properly check all the young men for identification and that she served them approximately 56 drinks before they left the bar that night.

Senack’s defence team, consisting of well-known litigators Michael Edelson and Tony Paciocco, are attempting to build a case by claiming that a combination of Hanniman’s speed while driving (127 km/hr in a posted 80 km/hr zone), as well as the driver being distracted by a cell phone and alcohol, all played a part in the fatal collision.

When court resumes Monday, May 10, it is expected Ben Scheuneman will return to the stand for a third day of testimony.

When court was adjourned on April 30 by Justice Hugh Fraser, Scheuneman was being cross-examined by Paciocco.

Earlier in his testimony, Scheuneman admitted he and his friends were drinking in the car prior to arriving at the now-closed establishment and he also testified that the group of young men appeared to be, or “well on their way” to being impaired.

Senack’s defence team opted to have a judge-only trial as opposed to a juried-trial. If convicted on one or more of the charges, she faces up to ten years in prison.

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