Lac-Megantic: trial on criminal negligence charges to proceed for train driver
Train driver Tom Harding is at the centre of the train derailment investigation in Lac-Megantic, Que. (LaPresse.ca)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 5, 2017 9:47PM EST
A lawyer for the driver of the train that crashed in Lac-Megantic in 2013 is no longer seeking a stay of proceedings in his client's criminal case.
Thomas Walsh says Tom Harding wants to prove his innocence.
On July 6, 2013, a runaway train carrying crude oil from the United States derailed in downtown Lac-Megantic and exploded, killing 47 people and destroying part of the town centre.
Harding and two other men are each facing 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death related to the tragedy.
Walsh had previously mentioned he would ask for the charges against Harding to be dropped because of the length of time that had passed since they were laid.
But the lawyer now says Harding will be able to give his version of events and show he did not commit criminal negligence.
Harding, his former colleagues Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre, as well as the railroad company, which is under bankruptcy protection, have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The trial is expected to begin in September.
Conviction on a charge of criminal negligence causing death carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.