It was an emotional start to the trial for Joshua Steele-Young Monday morning at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s as the woman who was in his car when it crashed in 1 1/2 years ago was wheeled into the courtroom.
Morgan Pardy — who was left paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the crash that happened on Pitts Memorial Drive on Match 20, 2017 – was the first to testify.
The young woman broke down crying several times recalling that snowy day when the Honda Civic that Steele-Young was reportedly driving lost control and rolled multiple times.
Pardy, who was ejected from the vehicle during the crash, told the court that she and Steele-Young had been in a heated argument and that she had taken off her seatbelt minutes before the crash.
“I just wanted to get out of the car. I just wanted to get out.”
— Morgan Pardy
She then sobbed uncontrollably as she was consoled by her mother.
Pardy was so distraught, Justice Frances Knickle suggested they take a short break in proceedings to allow her to compose herself.
Pardy testified that she and Steele-Young had been dating, but had broken up the week before.
The night before the crash, she said she had been at her friend’s house in Paradise and that Steele-Young was trying to contact her via her friend’s phone, since her phone was broken. She told her friend she didn’t want to talk to him.
Pardy said she slept at a friend’s house in Conception Bay South that night, but when she woke up, she saw Steele-Young’s car pass by the next morning. From her friend’s cellphone, she saw Steele-Young was trying to contact her. He told her he wanted to go for a drive with her and talk to her.
She agreed and had him follow her home in her vehicle. She said the roads were just getting slippery at that time with light snowfall.
When she got home, she walked up the road where he parked. When asked by Crown prosecutor Jennifer Lundrigan why he parked up the road, she said, “My Mom and step-Dad really didn’t like him.”
She said as they proceeded up Old Placentia Road and Richard Nolan Drive, the two argued. She said he called her a slut and whore.
She said he became really angry after they hit a pothole heading into Pitts Memorial Drive.
As the two argued, she said he sped up and passed many cars. She said she told him she wanted out of the car if he didn’t slow down. She said she took off her seatbelt and insisted he let her out.
“I told him to let me out of the f— car now ...,” she said, again breaking down in tears.
"I was screaming. I told him, 'I don’t want to do this anymore. We’re done.'"
She said she told him several times she wanted to get out, but he kept driving — still passing cars.
“He kept going faster, changing gears ...,” said Pardy, who said it was still snowing at the time. “I was scared.”
Then, at one point, near the turnoff to the TCH to get to Paradise, she remembers him passing a grey vehicle and then heard Steele-Young say, “F—-!”
The Civic then went sideways and rolled several times.
She recalls being tossed around inside the car and then being pressed against something and then waking up in the ambulance, being asked her name and date of birth. Paramedics were also cutting her clothes.
She was going in and out of consciousness. She remembers waking up in the intensive care unit at the hospital all around her.
She had broken her C6 segment in her spine, broken several ribs and punctured her lung.
She spent up to five months in hospital before being transferred to the Miller Centre, where she underwent three months of physical therapy.
When asked if she has any sensation in her legs, Pardy shook her head and broke down crying again.
Steele-Young, who is not in custody, is charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm and forcible confinement and breaching a court order, the latter of which he was charged with while on bail for reportedly trying to contact Pardy.
She’s expected to be cross-examined this afternoon by Steele- Young‘s lawyer Randy Piercey.