Trial continues for 25-year-old man charged with dangerous driving causing death

The trial of Joseph Mallen, 25, charged with dangerous driving causing death, obstruction of justice and public mischief resumed Monday in Superior Court.

Karen Kelly, 69, was rushed to hospital on February 14, 2019, after her vehicle was hit by another sedan at the corner of George Avenue and Reginald Street.

Kelly died 12 days after the February 26 collision.

Mallen was not injured in the collision.

Police initially charged another man in connection with the crash, but those charges were dropped before Mallen was subsequently arrested and charged.

On Monday afternoon, the court viewed a video statement between Windsor police and Mallen following his arrest in July 2019.

The court heard Mallen tell the officer via video that there was no way to put him behind the wheel at the time of the collision, stating adamantly that he sat in the back seat and watched the driver flee.

The officer told Mallen that witness statements, CCTV and data extracted from the vehicle’s black box did not match what Mallen had stated.

“I wasn’t driving,” Mallen said in the video. “I have no reason to lie to you.”

He then continued, “I’m not going to sit here and be blamed for something I didn’t do, especially when a lady has died.”

Kelly’s daughter, Tricia Labelle, wept openly in the courtroom after police could be overheard during the video exchange telling Mallen the deceased would never see her family again.

Labelle previously said his mother had fought for her life and the family had been unable to find a solution since.

Outside the courthouse, Labelle told CTV News he was trying to figure out how long the proceedings would take, noting the trial hadn’t resumed since June, when one of the attorneys fell ill.

“It’s frustrating,” exclaims Labelle. “It’s a long wait for the closing.”

Labelle said she now suffers from PTSD and severe depression since her mother’s death.

“There was no closure. It’s just a constant expectation. It’s very, very frustrating,” said Labelle.

“My life will never be the same again,” she continued. “Once there is closure or no closure, my life is immobile, my mother will never see her grandchildren marry. She will not be there to see her great-grandchildren grow up. She missed many milestones in our lives because of someone’s negligence.

Labelle added: “He’s just a coward and it’s pathetic to allow a family to suffer for so long and take no responsibility, it’s disgusting to me.”

Labelle reiterated that her mother was active in her church community and volunteered at Windsor Regional Hospital, noting that Kelly was leaving Bible study on the day of the crash.

“The day my mother died, I died. I will never be the same person again. She never leaves my mind. It’s all I think about, I dream about, I relive. I relive the 12 days she spent in the hospital addicted to machines. I relive that every day of my life. said Labelle.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

Joseph Mallen, 25, sits outside the Superior Court building in Windsor, Ont. on Monday, September 19, 2022. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)

Elna M. Lemons