When Rituraj Grewal – the Surrey woman on trial for criminal negligence causing death in the 2017 traffic crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje – told the court she knows she didn’t deliberately cause the collision, Crown prosecutor Kelly Johnston reminded her that she had already testified she doesn’t remember anything about the crash.
During cross examination Friday, Johnston noted witnesses described her driving as aggressive and asked her if she agreed with that.
“I can’t agree with that because I wasn’t aware of that,” she said. Johnston then suggested that she’d been driving “very aggressively.”
“I disagree,” she replied. Johnston noted Grewal cut in front of another car and hit a Nissan Altima. “I’m not aware of what happened after I went up the hill so I can’t agree with you on those terms, sorry,” she replied.
“Alright,” Johnston replied. “I’m going to suggest to you that after you hit that car you panicked and you didn’t want to stop.”
“That’s not correct,” she said. “I have no recollection of these suggestions.”
Grewal said she “did not do anything with any intent,” to which Johnston replied, “You don’t know that.”
“I know for sure I didn’t deliberately cause this incident and accident,” Grewal insisted.
“You don’t remember,” Johnston again pointed out.
“I don’t, I don’t remember, that’s true.”
During the trial, it was revealed that oxycodone was found in Grewal’s blood, and an oxycodone pill was in her car. She said she didn’t use oxycodone on the day of the crash but on the weekend prior for pain management because she had a migraine headache. Grewal told the court she got the oxycodone from her boyfriend at the time. The court also heard the police found in her car two unopened packets of a type of naloxone, which is used to prevent overdosing. Grewal told the court she kept that for her boyfriend.
“I did notice that he was using the oxy frequently,” she said, so she kept the packets he provided to her, in her wallet, “just in case of emergency of overdose.
“I was concerned for his well-being,” she said. But she never did have to administer it to him, she added.
Earlier on Friday the accused told the court she has epilepsy and believes she had a seizure that caused the crash.
The next defence witness Friday was the accused’s mother, Birender Grewal. The court heard she was born in India, came to Canada in 1989, and Rituraj is her youngest child. She told the court when her daughter was 13 she started shaking at the dinner table “and making her noise,” and “moving her arms bad.”
This lasted about 30 seconds, she said. “This is the first time I saw this going on to her.” About a year and a half later, Grewal’s mother added, she was driving with “Ritu” in the back seat of the car when a similar thing happened, “banging her legs and arms.”
Then, in 2018, at home, her daughter was upstairs when she began making “very loud noises.” She said they found her on the floor, her body shaking, eyes rolled back and with her jaw to one side. They called for an ambulance, which arrived within about five minutes to take her to hospital. She said her daughter was “totally off her mind.”
The trial will resume on Friday, Feb. 19, when the defence is expected to call two doctors to testify.