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Updated: 2nd December 2019 14:00 Calgary

'We told her she was loved': Witnesses at father's drunk driving trial tried to save girls

Calgary father Michael Shaun Bomford was drunk and speeding when he lost control of his Jeep, causing a crash that killed his 17-year-old daughter, says the Crown prosecutor.

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Michael Shaun Bomford's trial on 6 charges began Monday

Meghan Bomford, 17, was killed in a rollover on McKnight Boulevard N.E. in October 2016. Her father, Shaun Bomford, is on trial, accused of impaired driving causing death. (Facebook)

If Meghan Bomford's life could have been saved, all the right people had stopped to help at the crash scene: a volunteer firefighter, two nurses, a paramedic who had just finished work and numerous Good Samaritans.

Michael Shaun Bomford is on trial, accused of a drunk driving crash that killed his 17-year-old daughter and seriously injured her best friend. 

And though Meghan's injuries were too severe to survive, those who pulled over on McKnight Boulevard on Oct. 18, 2016, likely saved the life of her best friend, 16-year-old Kelsey Nelson.

While working to save Nelson, those by her side, including Adam Bickerstaff, also comforted the 16-year-old, who was shaking and struggling to breathe.

"We told her she was loved and we were going to help her," said Bickerstaff. "We said we loved her and people were on their way to help.

A couple in a pickup truck had pulled up. He was a volunteer firefighter, she, a nurse. They performed a "jaw thrust" to open her airway.

Bickerstaff said an off-duty paramedic also showed up. He was still in uniform when he called on his radio for help before checking on all three injured people.

Another nurse was also at the scene. After seeing one of the girls being ejected from the back window, Arvin Legaspi called 911 before running to her side.

On Monday, prosecutor Scott Wilson told the judge the Crown will call evidence showing Bomford had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit at the time of the crash and that he was travelling more than 30 km/h above the speed limit when he lost control of his SUV.

Blood-alcohol three times limit: Crown

Bomford faces six charges including impaired driving causing death and bodily harm as well as dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm.

Meghan and Kelsey had been picked up by Bomford around 4:30 p.m. 

The girls wanted to become ringette coaches and Bomford was taking them to get criminal background checks done.

But Bomford had a blood-alcohol level well over the legal limit, according to Wilson's opening statement. 

Wilson said the prosecution will call evidence about text messages sent from Meghan to her mother, Bomford's ex-wife, about what was happening in the vehicle. 

The crash happened on McKnight Boulevard N.E. Bomford's Jeep Liberty was travelling west between 68th Street and 52nd Street N.E. when it went out control, fishtailing in the far right lane.

The SUV rolled across the eastbound lanes, and all three people were thrown from the vehicle.

Meghan died in hospital shortly after the crash.

Nelson suffered a serious brain injury and has no memory of what led to the crash or the aftermath, said Wilson who described the crash as having "profound and tragic consequences." 

An accident reconstructionist is expected to testify Bomford was travelling at least 112 km/h in McKnight's 80 km/h zone when the Jeep lost control.

Bomford was also injured in the crash. He walked into the courtroom on Monday with a severe limp, using a cane. Bomford has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The judge-alone trial is being presided over by Court of Queen's Bench Justice Kristine Eidsvik and is set to last seven days. 

Defence lawyer James Wyman is representing Bomford.

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.

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