Saying the evidence to support it is solid, a state Superior Court panel has upheld a jury’s $3.1 million damage verdict for a fatal crash that was filmed by a Go Pro camera mounted on the victim’s motorcycle helmet.
The state judges rejected arguments by Kahlil Gray that evidence of his intoxication at the time of the April 2014 accident should not have been presented to the Philadelphia jury that found him negligent in the death of 27-year-old Calvin Wilson Jr.
Gray also tried, and failed, to convince the state judges that the county judge who presided at the 2016 civil trial should have allowed the jury to see more of the Go Pro video, which he claimed would have shown Wilson was riding aggressively through the city’s streets before the crash.
According to the state court opinion by Judge Alice Beck Dubow, the fatal crash occurred at Belmont and Parkside avenues when Gray turned his Dodge Durango into the path of Wilson’s oncoming motorcycle. Wilson had the green light to proceed through the intersection, investigators said.
Investigators claimed Gray’s blood-alcohol level at the time of the accident was .104 percent, above the legal limit, Dubow noted.
During the civil trial, Gray conceded that he bore some liability for the crash, but also blamed Wilson for aggressive driving. He claimed on appeal that the aggressive driving assertion would have been better illustrated if the judge had allowed the entire 40-minute Go Pro video to be shown to the jurors.
Instead, only 17 minutes of the video leading up to the collision was shown during the trial. That was sufficient, Dubow concluded, because it showed Wilson doing three wheelies in the half-mile before the crash.
“There was adequate evidence from which the jury could infer that (Wilson) was driving aggressively and erratically,” Dubow wrote, so Gray wasn’t impeded from pressing that argument during the trial.