Wrong-way Highway 11 driver acquitted in 2018 serious head-on crash

An Orillia man responsible for causing a head-on collision when he drove the wrong way on Highway 11 four years ago, sending a woman to the hospital with life-altering injuries, has been acquitted.

Michael Grelowski, 41, was charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm after driving his SUV south in the northbound lanes on April 11, 2018, crashing into another vehicle.

Jennilynn Reed was in that vehicle with her two children.

Reed suffered several injuries, including a shattered pelvis, a ruptured diaphragm, and multiple broken bones, leaving her unable to walk without the use of a cane. One of her kids was injured in the crash but has since recovered.

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During the trial, Grelowski's lawyer reasoned his client, who has type-one diabetes, was in a state of neuroglycopenia – a medical condition that left him unaware of his dangerously low blood glucose level and unable to correct it.

Witnesses testified seeing a black SUV travelling erratically along the highway through Orillia on the evening of the crash.

The Crown had argued that Grelowski ignored signs of his blood glucose dropping and made a conscious decision to drive that day. She added he failed to test his blood sugar level before getting behind the wheel.

Justice Boswell said he was satisfied with expert testimony that Grelowski was "confused and disoriented," causing him to get on the highway going in the wrong direction, swerving and passing several vehicles.

Calling Grelowski a "candid witness," Justice Boswell said he believed Grelowski's blood sugar fell "too quickly for him to do anything about it," and he was "completely unable to appreciate the risk he was taking."

Meanwhile, Reed said she's disappointed with the decision and has since filed a civil lawsuit against Grelowski.

"Financially, it's ruining us," she said, adding she feels he has yet to take the matter seriously.

"The fact that the guy thinks it's a joke is a whole other thing that bugs me," she said. "Don't take this as a joke. It's something that you should apologize for."

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