Trial Begins for Essex County OPP Officer Charged with Dangerous Driving Causing Bodily Harm

The trial of an Essex County OPP officer charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm is under way.

Constable Jamie Porto was rushing to the scene of a fiery crash in October 2014 when he struck another car on County Rd 42 and County Rd 31 in St. Joachim.

The court heard Porto was in a stealth OPP cruiser with lights and sirens activated. 

He was driving 178 km/hour seconds before the crash and 133 km/h on impact.

The car was driven by Ryan Coombs who testified he did not see or hear Porto's vehicle before the crash.

Porto's defence suggested Coombs wasn't paying attention because there was nothing to impede Porto's vision that day. 

Lisa Holmes was putting her two daughters in a stroller at the corner and witnessed the crash describing it as terrifying.

"The vehicle ended up crashing into the gas pump. When it crashed into the gas pump and the impact had stopped that's when I realized we almost just died," said Holmes outside of the Superior Court House.

Coombs suffered two broken ribs and a concussion.

The trial is scheduled for four days.