Civil Trial Deposition

See also: Jennifer Girsch CFPD Report
See also:
Jennifer Girsch Criminal Trial Testimony

Page 4


2 being produced, sworn as hereinafter certified and

3 examined on behalf of the Plaintiffs Farrell,

4 testified as follows:



7 Q. Would you tell us you name and address

8 and Social Security Number?

9 A. Jennifer Sue Girsch, xxx-xx-xxxx. I

10 live in Cedar Falls.

11 Q. What is your date of birth?

12 A. 5-11-71.

13 Q. Are you employed?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And where do you work?

16 A. Harmony House Health Care Center.

17 Q. Can you tell us that Harmony House

18 Health Care Center is?

19 A. It's a facility that houses brain

20 injured residents, a rehab program.

21 Q. What are your duties and

22 responsibilities there?

23 A. I'm the recreation coordinator.

24 Q. Can you tell me what that involves?

25 A. I plan activities for the residents, get


Page 5

1 them involved in community integration. That's

2 about it, I guess.

3 Q. What's your educational background?

4 A. I have a four-year degree from UNI in

5 therapeutic recreation.

6 Q. And how long have you been with Harmony

7 House?

8 A. Four years.

9 Q. Okay. Are a licensed driver?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And on October 4, 1996, were you a

12 licensed driver?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You witnessed a motor vehicle collision

15 on that date. Did you not?

16 A. Uh-huh,

17 Q. Yes?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Tell me a little bit about your

20 activities that day prior to witnessing the

21 collision.

22 A. I worked. It was Friday. I got home

23 about 8 o'clock, 8:30, and I was getting ready to

24 go out to meet a friend at a bar.

25 Q. You'd come home at 8:30 p.m.?


Page 6

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And your normal shift was --

3 A. At that time it was 11:30 to 8 every

4 day.

5 Q. And your plan was to meet a friend at a

6 bar?

7 A. Uh-huh. Broosters.

8 Q. Yes?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. One of the things you have to do is if

11 you want to answer a question yes or no, say yes or

12 no because a nod of the head or a shake of the head

13 or uh-huh or huh-uh doesn't register on her

14 machine.

15 A. All right.

16 Q. Where was your home in relation to

17 Broosters?

19 A. At the time I lived in a different

19 place. I lived at -- on West 18th Street on Hudson

20 --off of Hudson Road, and so to get to Greenhill

21 Road, I just went down Hudson Road and turned left

22 on Greenhill Road.

23 Q. Broosters is on Greenhill Road?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. What route did you follow from you


Page 7

1 residence to Greenhill road?

2 A. I turned onto Hudson Road, went down

3 towards the Interstate and turned left on Greenhill

4 Road.

5 Q. Okay. And what direction would you be

6 going when you turned onto Greenhill Road?

7 A. I don't know my north, west, south. I

8 don't know that.

9 Q. All right.

10 A. Towards Waterloo.

11 Q. Towards Waterloo?

12 A. Right.

13 Q. And towards the intersection of

14 Greenhill Road and Highway 58?

15 A. Right.

16 Q. What time did you leave your residence?

17 A. It had to be about 10 or 11, something

18 like that?

19 Q. Had you had anything to drink?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Of an alcoholic beverage?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Were you suffering any condition that

24 affected your ability to observe events and see

25 what was going on ahead of you?


Page 8

1 A. No.

2 Q. I understood you took Greenhill Road

3 towards Broosters and toward the intersection of

4 where this collision occurred?

5 A. Right.

6 Q. Greenhill Road is four lane street?

7 A. Right.

8 Q. Speed limit?

9 A. 45.

10 Q. As you approached the intersection where

11 this collision occurred, what lane of travel where

12 you in?

13 A. The left lane.

14 Q. That would be the inside nearest the

15 center line?

16 A. Right?

17 Q. How fast were you going? What was the

18 maximum speed that your vehicle attained as you

19 were driving along?

20 A. 50 maybe at the most.

21 Q. What kind of vehicle were you driving?

22 A. '93 Dodge Shadow.

23 Q. Good condition?

24 A. Yeah.

25 Q. What were the road, weather and lighting


Page 9

1 conditions that evening?

2 A. Normal, fine.

3 Q. Is Greenhill Road in the vicinity of the

4 intersection with Highway 58 fairly flat?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Straight?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Good visibility of the intersection?

9 A. Good visibility.

10 Q. As you approached that scene of the

11 collision, did you observe any traffic control

12 devices?

13 A. Yes, I did.

14 Q. What did you observe?

15 A. I had a flashing red light.

16 Q. And the flashing red light was displayed

17 how?

18 A. You mean up in the air?

19 Q. Describe that --

20 A. you could see it coming all the way down

21 the hill from Greenhill Road. You could also see

22 the yellow from the side it's so open right there.

23 Q. And the light, the flashing red light.

24 is that on poles and extends across in a bar that

25 extends across the roadway?


Page 10

1 A. Right.

2 Q. From how far away were you able to see

3 the flashing red light?

4 A. I'd say a couple of blocks.

5 Q. What did the flashing red light

6 indicate to you?

7 A. That I had to stop and look before I

8 proceeded through the intersection.

9 Q. Are you familiar with the other side of

10 Greenhill Road?

11 A. Meaning to the right of me or --

12 Q. Well, on the other side of the

13 intersection. In other words, you've not only

14 driven toward Waterloo but you've also driven away

15 from Waterloo on Greenhill Road?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Are you familiar with the visibility of

18 the intersection --

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. -- and the flashing red lights

21 controlling that intersection from the other side

22 of Greenhill Road?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Could you describe that visibility?

25 A. It's also a hill, and you can see


Page 11

1 flashing red light from quite a bit far away.

2 Q. When you saw those flashing red lights

3 for the first time, how far away were you?

4 A. For the first time?

5 Q. Yeah. When they first became visible to

6 you.

7 A. How far away was I?

8 Q. Yeah.

9 A. Going towards Cedar Falls?

10 Q. Going towards Cedar Falls.

11 A. You could see them at the top of the

12 hill.

13 Q. How far away? You said a couple of

14 blocks?

15 A. A couple of blocks.

16 Q. What did you do? What was your reaction

17 when you saw those flashing red lights?

18 A. As I was going that night?

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. Getting ready to stop.

21 Q. All right. At some point did you apply

22 your brakes to begin to stop?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. First you took your foot off the foot

25 feed I assume?


Page 12

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. began the process of slowing your

3 vehicle?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Where you in the process of slowing you

6 vehicle when you saw another vehicle on the other

7 side of the intersection of Highway 587 and

8 Greenhill Road?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Describe for me the vehicle that you saw

11 and what it was doing.

12 A. It was a silver four-by-four truck. I

13 noticed that it was going awfully fast not being

14 able to stop -- I felt it was not going to be able

15 to stop at the red light, so I showed down way

16 before the intersection. It was -- it seemed to be

17 wobbled to one side at one point. I don't know if

18 he realized it at the last minute that he wasn't

19 going to be able to stop.

20 Q. This vehicle was coming your way?

21 A. Right.

22 Q. Why did you slow down at a faster rate?

23 A. Because I antiquated that he was not

24 going to stop, that he -- it just looked like the

25 car was not going to stop at all.


Page 13

1 Q. Why did that make a difference to you if

2 he was coming at you --

3 A. Because there was another car coming

4 through Highway 58.

5 Q. Tell me about the other car.

6 A. It was a blue, navy blue -- I'm not sure

7 what kind of car, an older car. It seemed to be

8 going the speed limit. I believe it was in the

9 left lane of traffic.

10 Q. All right. Coming from which direction

11 in relation to your car?

12 A. It was on my left side going through the

13 intersection.

14 Q. Did it have the right-of-way?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And when you say that the oncoming

17 vehicle that you observed appeared to be going --

18 how did you describe it? fast or high rate of

19 speed?

20 A. Right.

21 Q. What do you mean?

22 A. Just at a speed that noticeable was not

23 going to stop at the stoplight.

24 Q. Did that vehicle appear to slow down at

25 all before actually entering the intersection?


Page 14

1 A. Maybe at the very last minute when I

2 noticed that it had wobbled a little bit.

3 Q. Was it already in the intersection by

4 then, or can you recall?

5 A. Right before the intersection.

6 Q. All right. As if the driver suddenly at

7 the last minute realized what he had done?

8 A. Yeah.

9 Q. Why did you bring your vehicle -- why

10 did you stop it more quickly or at a faster rate

11 then seeing that this collision was going to occur

12 in front of you?

13 A. I didn't want to get hit. I just wanted

14 to stay as far away from it as possible.

15 Q. do you have any estimate of the speed of

16 the oncoming vehicle?

17 A. I wouldn't know.

18 Q. Did it appear -- how fast did it appear

19 to be going in relation to the speed limit?

10 A. Probably the speed limit but going

21 through the intersection, of course, it looks

22 faster or that fast.

23 Q. And going through the red light at that

24 speed was too fast?

25 A. Right.


Page 15

1 Q. Tell me why you observed after you

2 realized this collision was going to occur.

3 A. The blue car came through the

4 intersection, and the silver car hit the blue car

5 on the driver's side. The did -- both of them did

6 a bunch of donuts. The silver car ending up on the

7 curb of Greenhill Road on the corner, and the blue

8 car went a little ways into the ditch. It's not

9 really a ditch there but underneath the big light

10 there. The blue car almost tipped over. It was on

11 its side for just a second and then came back down.

12 Q. Did you -- had you brought your car to a

13 stop by the time --

14 A. By that time, yes.

15 Q. And had these vehicles actually came

16 across your path?

17 A. Yeah. Right in front of me.

18 Q. What did you do next?

19 A. Picked up my cell phone and dialed 911.

20 Q. Did you talk to the emergency people?

21 A. Yeah.

22 Q. Did they tell you they were going to get

23 emergency crews on the way?

24 A. They didn't necessarily say that, but

25 they kept asking me if it was bad enough to send


Page 16

1 the ambulance, and I said yes. I assumed. I

2 hadn't seen anybody yet but --

3 Q. After you made the call, what did you

4 do?

5 A. I got out of my car. The people in the

6 silver car were in the street, and I talked to them

7 and told them to get out of the street.

8 Q. Describe for me what you observed with

9 respect to their demeanor.

10 A. The lady got out of her car first

11 staggering, laid on the floor -- on the ground.

12 Q. In the street?

13 A. In the street, middle of the street.

14 Then the guy got out, staggering a little bit

15 first, just stood by the lady, did not -- just

16 stood in the middle of the street. I was still on

17 the phone, so I told them I had to get off, and I

18 got out and told him to get her out of the street,

19 both get out of the street and sit on the median.

20 And to get her up, he picked her up, took her by

21 the jacket and just yanked her right up on her

22 feet, and the walked over to the median and sat

23 down.

24 Q. You observed both of them staggering?

25 A. Yes.


Page 17

1 Q. Did you observe any injuries/

2 A. Yes. The man's face was bloody and cut.

3 Q. Did they appear disoriented?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. To the point where you had to tell them

6 to get out of the street?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. They didn't know enough to get out of

9 the street on their own?

10 A. No.

11 Q. And when you say the man's face was cut,

12 what -- where was it cut?

13 A. I'm not sure. There was just blood

14 running from his nose and up on his face, on the

15 side.

16 Q. Did you recognize the man?

17 A. No, I did not.

18 Q. Do you know who he is now?

19 A. Yes, I do. In fact, he was my landlord

20 at the time.

21 Q. Had you heard of him before his

22 collision?

23 A. Yeah.

24 MR. GALLAGHER: Did she say landlord?

25 Q. Yes. Did you know him as a


Page 18

1 landlord?

2 A. I knew his name and wrote my checks to

3 him. I never seen his face.

4 Q. Did you know that Tracy Rokes owned a

5 lot of property in this area?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Is he known as a major landlord?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Had you ever seen him drinking at

10 Broosters?

11 A. No. That was the first time I ever seen

12 him.

13 Q. Okay. Were they able to get out of the

14 street on their own?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Where did they go/

17 A. Sat on the median on the left-hand side

18 of my car. I had pulled my car over by this time.

19 Q. Did you have any further conversation

20 with them?

21 A. A little bit of conversation. Not

22 really to me but between the two of them.

23 Q. They were talking to themselves or

24 between themselves?

25 A. Yeah.


Page 19

1 Q. And what did you overhear?

2 A. Something about -- well, I guess he had

3 told me they were fighting about his wife or

4 discussing something -- not his wife, his mother,

5 discussing something about his mother. He as said

6 something to the effect that, "Honey, out car is

7 totaled. I guess this is my fault." I think

8 that's about it that I heard.

9 Q. He said -- you heard him say something

10 to the effect, "Honey, our car it totaled?"

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. "I guess this is my fault"?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Something about her mother?

15 A. Yeah.

16 Q. did he say anything or indicate that he

17 had not been paying attention?

18 A. Yeah. I think so.

19 Q. So you recall that he said something

20 about not paying attention?

21 A. Yeah. We were discussing about the

22 mother and -- gosh. I don't remember the exact

23 words. Yeah. It was something to that effect that

24 he didn't see what was going on or was talking to

25 his wife about this matter.


Page 20

1 Q. Didn't see the red light?

2 A. Right.

3 Q. And then he said something about his car

4 being totaled?

5 A. Right.

6 Q. Is that the extent of the conversation

7 that you can recall?

8 A. right, because that's when I went over

9 to the other car.

10 Q. Okay. Did you hear Mr. Rokes say

11 anything about the people in the other car?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Did you hear him express any concern

14 about the people in the other car?

15 A. No.

16 Q. From what you heard, the only concern he

17 expressed about any of the damage or injury that

18 had occurred was about his car?

19 A. right.

20 Q. Then you went over to the other car?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. What did you observe?

23 A. The girl in the front passenger was

24 trying to get out of the car. She was -- seemed to

25 be in shock, and I just tried to keep her in the


Page 21

1 car. I didn't notice the girl in the back seat

2 until after the girl in the front passenger's side

3 asked me where her friends were, and that's when I

4 looked back and noticed there was more than two

5 people in the car.

6 Q. What was their condition from what you

7 could observe?

8 A. The girl in the back seat was huddled in

9 the corner shaking a lot, not responsive at all. I

10 noticed that she had kinds of a heavy spring coat on

11 and a big blood stain on her hip. The girl in the

12 driver's seat, I couldn't tell if she was conscious

13 or not. Seemed to be in and out maybe because she

14 would kind of wake up and move her head around and

15 moan a little bit. I noticed her hair was full of

16 blood. That's about it.

17 Q, Any other observations?

18 A. Just that the girl in the passenger's

19 had a pretty good cut on her chin.

20 Q. Was he the only one that you observed

21 able to move around?

22 A. Yeah.

23 Q. What did you observe, or what did you do

24 then after you made this observation?

25 A. I just tried to calm the girl in the


Page 22

1 passenger's seat down. She asked me to hold her

2 hand, and I did. I just knelt down there and just

3 talked to her until the ambulance came.

4 Q. How long did it take for the ambulance

5 to get there?

6 A. Ten or fifteen minutes.

7 Q. After the ambulance arrived what did you

8 do?

9 A. I just backed up and moved to the side,

10 and I talked to the police for a little bit and

11 just watched them all get into the ambulance.

12 Q. And then what did you do?

13 A. After it was all over, I went to the

14 bar.

15 Q. Okay. I want to show you a photograph

16 because I'd like to go back over this a little bit

17 in some additional detail. This was previously

18 marked as Deposition Exhibit 1. It's an aerial

19 photograph of the intersection where this collision

20 occurred, and north is toward the top.

21 A. Okay.

22 Q. I'd like you for just a moment to look

23 at this photograph and tell me if it accurately

24 depicts the positions for the vehicles involved in

25 this collision at the various stages of the


Page 23

1 collision sequence because they have been drawn on

2 to this photograph, okay? Just take your time,

3 take a look at this and them I'm going to ask you

4 about it.

5 A. (Witness complies.) Okay.

6 Q. Okay. Do you see your vehicle or where

7 your vehicle is depicted?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Does the position that it its in on

10 Exhibit 1 or shown as being in Exhibit 1 accurately

11 portrayed where it was at some point in the

12 accident sequence?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. What stage of the accident sequence was

15 it when it was in that position?

16 A. Probably throughout the whole thing from

17 the moment I saw that he wasn't going to stop at

18 the stoplight until I moved it after the accident.

19 Q. So it's about where you stopped and

20 observed the collision itself?

21 A. Right.

22 Q. All right. And that's in the -- the

23 inside lane of the eastbound lanes of Greenhill

24 Road, correct?

25 A. Right.


Page 24

1 Q. Then there's a turn lane to your left,

2 but you're in the inside travel lane?

3 A. Right.

4 Q. What about the gray vehicle, the Rokes

5 vehicle? Is it accurately depicted?

6 A. I actually thought it was in the left

7 lane unless is this the turning lane her, or is

8 this?

9 Q. It looks like it's -- on his photograph

10 it's depicted in the --

11 A. Right lane.

12 Q. -- right travel lane. Your recollection

13 was it was in the left travel lane?

14 A. Uh-huh.

15 Q. Are you certain of that, or that was

16 just your impression?

17 A. That was my impression.

18 Q. All right. What about the other

19 vehicle, the blue car? Is it shown accurately?

20 A. I thought that that was in the right

21 lane, but it happened so fast, I didn't really look

22 at lanes, I guess. That's just my impression of

23 that, too.


24 Q. Okay. Looks like --

25 A. Or was in the left lane. I'm sorry. I


Page 25

1 thought she was in the far lane here.

2 Q. In this photograph the -- what we know

3 as Juli Farrell's vehicle is shown in the right

4 travel lane, correct?

5 A. Uh-huh. Yes.

6 Q. You impression or recollection was that

7 it was in the left travel lane?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. But that was your impression?

10 A. Right.

11 Q. And you're not sure? I mean, if other

12 evidence would place them -- place that vehicle in

13 this location, you wouldn't disagree with that?

14 A. No.

15 Q. And some with the Rokes vehicle?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. All right. Look at the path of the

18 Rokes vehicle as shown in this photograph. Does

19 the path with the rotation to the left as shown in

20 this photograph, is that consistent with your

21 recollection of what the Rokes vehicle did?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. So there was some turn or some rotation

24 to the left just prior to the collision?

25 A. Yes.

Page 26

1 Q. Now, look at the path that the vehicles

2 traveled to their resting spot as shown on this

3 photograph. Is that an accurate depiction of the

4 path that they followed?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And is the resting place of these

7 vehicles as shown in that -- on Exhibit 1 an

8 accurate depiction?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. The Exhibit 1 also shows overhead lights

11 controlling the traffic approaching that

12 intersection, correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Were the lights that you saw flashing

15 red in your direction shown?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And the lights that would have been

18 flashing red for Mr. Rokes are also shown?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And then the yellow lights for Juli are

21 also shown, correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You indicated that the intersection with

24 Highway 58 can be observed from a long distance by

25 traffic traveling in either direction along


Page 27

1 Greenhill Road; is that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And the lights, the overhead lights that

4 would have been flashing red are visible from a

5 long distance?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Take a look, if you would, for me at a

8 photograph that was taken by an accident

9 reconstruction engineer and has been marked and

10 identified as Photograph A82. Does that appear to

11 be a photograph looking towards the intersection of

12 Highway 58 along Greenhill Rod from the vehicle's

13 direction where Rokes would have been traveling?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Can you see the overhead lights way in

16 the distance there?

17 A. Yes, I can.

18 Q. Does that photograph accurately

19 demonstrate the kind of sight distance that a

20 driver has of that intersection?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Would it be fair to say that you can see

23 those, the driver could see those overhead lights

24 from at least half a mile away?

25 A. Yes.


Page 28

1 Q. And on the night of the collision, those

2 lights were in a continuous red flashing mode,

3 correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. I mean, they weren't cycling through

6 different colors? They were always red flashing?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So Mr. Rokes would have had the

9 opportunity from at least a half of a mile away to

10 see those red flashing lights?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Yet he told you he was inattentive?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. So for over half a mile away, he

15 wasn't paying attention to those red flashing

16 lights?

17 A. Right

18 Q. Have you ever observed people who are

19 drunk lose track of time and distance?

20 A. Yes.

21 MR. LIABO: Those are all of the

22 questions I have.



25 Q. Mrs. Girsch, where was the Farrell


Page 29

1 vehicle when you first saw it?

2 A. About ready to come through the

3 intersection.

4 Q. Did it have its light on?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Okay. Had you noticed the lights as you

7 were approaching the intersection?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. That's Highway 58?

10 A. Right.

11 Q. Are you familiar with that -- traveling

12 in the same direction as the Farrell vehicle was

13 the night?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Could you describe that intersection for

16 me? I mean, is it an open area or --

17 A. Very big intersection, very open.

18 Q. How would you describe the visibility

19 for a driver that was traveling on Highway 58 as

20 far as seeing that intersection?

21 A. Also describe that one as very visible,

22 to see everything around you.

23 Q. And what about seeing traffic coming

24 from the left or the right?

25 MR. GALLAGHER: Going which way?


Page 30

1 Q. Okay. For the Farrell vehicle.

2 traveling, what direction is it?

3 A. South.

4 Q. South?

5 A. How visible are oncoming cars?

6 Q. Not oncoming but coming from -- the

7 traffic was going east and west.

8 A. I would say it is pretty visible.

9 Q. Now, when you talk about Mr. Rokes'

10 speed, are you talking about just the fact that it

11 looked like the care wasn't going to stop?

12 A. Right.

13 Q. You're not saying he was speeding?

14 A. No. I'm not saying that.

15 Q. Did the Farrell vehicle appear to slow

16 down as it approached the intersection?

17 A. Not that I could tell. It happened so

18 fast, I couldn't tell.

19 Q. It had a flashing yellow light?

20 A. Yellow.

21 Q. Now, are you telling us today that you

22 were completely stopped at the time of the

23 collision?

24 A. At the time of the collision, I was

25 still coming to a stop, but right then I came to a


Page 31

1 stop. l

2 Q. Do you recall giving a statement to the

3 Cedar Falls Police Department or Public Safety

4 Department?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Did you give that statement on October

7 6, 1996?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. I'm going to hand you a copy of that

10 statement.

11 MR. GALLAGHER: Are you going to mark

12 it?

13 MR. BEVEL: Yes, I am.

14 (Exhibit 2 was marked by the reporter.)

15 Q. (MR. BEVEL) I'm going to hand you

16 what's been marked as Deposition Exhibit No. 2, and

17 it appears to be a statement on two sheets of

18 paper. Would you look at that please?

19 A. (Witness complies.)

20 Q. The second page seems to have a signature

21 at the bottom.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Is that your statement, or do you want

24 to look at it?

25 A. Yes.


Page 32

1 Q. Could I see that a moment? Let me

2 come around there. You note the sentence that

3 begins after you not that you had looked at your

4 clock in your car and saw that it was 11:22, could

5 you read the next sentence for us?

6 A. "While seeing the collision I still had

7 not some to a complete stop."

8 Q. Okay. Is that different from today

9 or --

10 A. No. I just -- it's been so long. I'm

11 not quite sure when the accident happened, but it

12 was during or right after the collision.

13 Q. When you -- after the collision and

14 after you'd made -- when did you see the people get

15 out of the truck, the Rokeses?

16 A. After the collision?

17 Q. Okay.

18 A. Soon after. I was on the phone. I'd

19 say about two minutes.

20 Q. Were they -- did they sit -- were they

21 in the truck for a while after the

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. After the truck had come to a stop, how

24 soon after that did they get out of the truck?

25 A. A minute.


Page 33

1 Q. Okay. Now, this staggering, did you see

2 them both stagger?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Did Mr. Rokes, did you see that he man was

5 injured?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Did Mr. Rokes, did the man have to help

8 the woman at all?

9 A. Yes. He had to help her off the found.

10 Q. Did he ever sit down on the ground?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Did he have to hold her up?

13 A. A little bit after he got her up, yes,

14 and guided her over to the median.

15 Q. Did he seem to have any difficulty doing

16 that?

17 A. A little bit, especially taking her by

18 the jacket and just yanking her up.

19 Q. Did she -- was he still staggering at

20 this point?

21 A. Not at that point, no.

22 Q. Okay. When did you see him stagger?

23 A. Right after he'd stepped out of the

24 vehicle.

25 Q. Did he stagger any more after stepping


Page 34

1 out of the vehicle?

2 A. Not until after he helped her up, he

3 walked over to the median, no.

4 Q. So you saw him stagger right as he got

5 out of the vehicle?

6 A. As he walked over to his wife.

7 Q. Okay. And you didn't see him stagger

8 any more?

9 A. No.

10 Q. And he never sat down in the middle of

11 the road?

12 A. No.

13 Q. did they appear -- did either of them

14 appear upset?

15 A. Yes. Both.

16 Q. How close did you get to them?

17 A. About an arm length away.

18 MR. GALLAGHER: What was the answer?

19 Q. About an arm length away is what I

20 thought she said.

21 A. About an arm length away.

22 Q. Now, I believe you testified today that

23 the man or Mr. Rokes said something to you about

24 having problems with his mother?

25 A. Yes.


Page 35

1 Q. Could that have been his wife's mother?

2 A. Could be.

3 Q. Were you standing right next to him at

4 that point?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Did you -- did he appear drunk at that

7 point?

8 A. No.

9 Q. How long were you with the Rokeses?

10 A. I'd say a minute.

11 Q. Did either of them -- did Mr. Rokes ever

12 make any inquiry about the people in the other car?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Did you ever approach the other car?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. While you were at the other car, did

17 Mr. Rokes make any inquiry about the people in the

18 car?

19 A. No. The wife came over.

20 Q. The wife came over?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Where was Mr. Rokes at that time?

23 A. I assume at the median still.

24 Q. Okay. How close was the Rokes' vehicle

25 to the intersection when you first saw it?


Page 36

1 A. A couple of feet.

2 Q. So you said it was a couple of feet, and

3 it was -- was this as it was traveling through the

4 intersection on into the intersection?

5 A. I saw it before it traveled into the

6 intersection. I could see his lights.

7 Q. Okay. How far away was the vehicle when

8 you first saw it?

9 MR. GALLAGHER: From her?

10 Q. From the intersection. I'm sorry.

11 A. I don't know. A couple of car lengths

12 from the intersection.

13 Q. How far was the Farrell vehicle from the

14 intersection when you first saw it?

15 A. I first saw the Farrell vehicle when it

16 was about ready to go through the intersection.

17 When I noticed the car wasn't going to stop, I

18 looked to my side, and she was about ready to come

19 through the intersection.

20 Q. Did the Rokes' vehicle take -- appear to

21 take any action to attempt to avoid the Farrell

22 vehicle?

23 A. When it wobbled to the side, I think he

24 was trying to swerve or something.

25 Q. Did it appear to you that he was trying


Page 37

1 to stop?

2 A. Yeah. It appeared he was going to turn

3 to me.

4 Q. Now, in your statement the sentence that

5 begins the word -- after the work intersection

6 about the fourth line down?

7 A. "Looked like he was traveling fast and

8 did not look like he was going to stop at the

9 flashing red lights."

10 Q. When you say it looked like he was

11 traveling fast, you're not saying that you thought

12 he was speeding?

13 A. No. I'm saying to be able to stop at an

14 intersection, he was going too fast to be able to

15 stop.

16 MR. BEVEL: Okay. I don't have any

17 other questions.



20 Q. Ms. Girsch, my name is Jim Hellman, and

21 I represent the Juli Farrell estate. I just want

22 to ask you a few more questions to clarify some

23 things in my own mind or my notes here. You said

24 that you first saw the Farrell car as it was about

25 ready to come through the intersection, correct?


Page 38

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. That was your first observation?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Okay. And I think you said earlier that

5 the Farrell car had its lights on?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And I think you said earlier that it

8 appeared it was going the speed limit?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. It did not appear to be going over the

11 speed limit to you?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Okay. did this accident happen very,

14 very quickly?

15 A. Yes. Just like that.

16 Q. How much time went by from the moment

17 that you saw the Farrell vehicle to the time that

18 there was an impact between the two vehicles?

19 A. Five seconds, three, five seconds.

20 Q. Most people tend to think that five

21 seconds is a very short period of time, but if you

22 actually count it out, it tends to be a little bit

23 longer. But just in your own mind, did it seem to

24 occur very quickly after you first saw -- and when

25 I say it, did the impact occur very quickly after


Page 39

1 you first saw the Farrell vehicle?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you see the Farrell vehicle either

4 turn or move or swerve to the right at all?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Now, is it possible that that vehicle

7 moved to the right before the impact, from you

8 angle you didn't notice that?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. You indicated that you did not see that

11 the Farrell vehicle showed down? I think you said

12 that earlier?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. But you didn't see it until it was about

15 ready to go through the intersection?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Is it possible that Juli Farrell's

18 vehicle had slowed down before you observed it?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Was the Juli Farrell vehicle doing

21 anything that you thought was improper or unlawful

22 out there that night?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Was there anything in your mind -- based

25 upon the observations you had, if a person was able


Page 40

1 to sit here and watch this whole thing happen was

2 there anything that you believe Juli Farrell could

3 have done to avoid the collision?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Now, I just want to clarify one thing in

6 your testimony. I think you said that after the

7 accident, Mr. Rokes said something about the car

8 being totaled, that it was his fault, that he had

9 not been paying attention and didn't see the red

10 light. Are those all correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Now, did he also say that he didn't see

13 the Farrell car.

14 A. I don't recall that.

15 Q. I just want to show something in your

16 testimony in the criminal case and make sure that

17 I'm reading this correctly because it's not clear.

18 MR. GALLAGHER: Give us the page, will

19 you, Jim?

20 Q. Page 935 and you can start a little

21 ahead here if you want to get the context here.

22 You were asked questions about what Mr. Rokes told

23 you at the scene, and on Line 9 it says, "And did

24 he then basically indicate to you that that's why

25 he -- that's why he didn't see them?" And your


Page 41

1 answer was, "Yes." Did I read that correctly?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Now, does that refresh your

4 recollection? Did Mr. Rokes say to you he didn't

5 see the other car, that being the blue car driven

6 by Juli Farrell?

7 A. Not that I recall.

8 Q. Okay. Well, do you remember when you

9 said yes to the question that he didn't see them?

10 Was that referring to the girls in the car?

11 A. Probably.

12 Q. Okay. It's your recollection, anyway,

13 when he said that he wasn't paying attention, he

14 didn't see them?

15 A. Right.

16 MR. HELLMAN: Thank you. I don't have

17 anything further.



20 Q. Ms. Girsch, my name is Ed Gallagher, and

21 I represent the Kleinheksel girl that was in the

22 car. Do you know her?

23 A. No, I don't.

24 Q. Okay. Did you know any of the

25 passengers in the car?


Page 42

1 A. No, I don't.

2 Q. Just a couple of questions so that we

3 all understand this. Was your car moving or was it

4 stopped when the collision occurred, or do you

5 know?

6 A. When they whizzed past me, I was stopped

7 so I was --

8 Q. You don't know whether you were moving

9 at the time of the actual impact?

10 A. Right.

11 Q. But you were stopped when they whizzed

12 past you you said?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. When they were doing these donuts?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Was you car damaged?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. What was the damage to your car?

19 A. Paint chips on the hood in the front

20 from the flying debris.

21 Q. And did some insurance company take care

22 of that?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Who took care of that?

25 A. State Farm, I believe.


Page 43

1 Q. Okay. Do you know who they insured?

2 A. Who State Farm insured?

3 Q. Yeah.

4 A. Tracy I assume.

5 Q. Rokes?

6 A. Yeah.

7 Q. Okay. Now I want to ask you, where did

8 you move your car?

9 A. Into the turning lane.

10 Q. Okay. So that would have been to

11 your --

12 A. Left.

13 Q. Left? Did you move it closer to the

14 intersection?

15 A. A little bit, yes.

16 Q. Okay. Did you leave the lights on and

17 then ran over there?

18 A. I don't think my lights were on.

19 Q. They were not on at all that night?

20 A. I don't think so.

21 Q. It was 11 o'clock at night, and you had

22 no lights on your car?

23 A. I wasn't thinking about that at the

24 moment. I just turned it off.

25 Q. I see. You turned your lights off?


Page 44

1 A. Yes. I pulled it over and turned my

2 lights off and left the vehicle.

3 Q. Okay. Now, Mr. Hellman asked you if any

4 of the -- I think he said the Farrell car was doing

5 anything unlawful. I believe that was the

6 question. Do you remember that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Let me ask you, was the light for the

9 traffic going north and south, was it green, or was

10 it yellow at the time of the collision?

11 A. The way I was going?

12 Q. No.

13 A. The way Farrell was going?

14 Q. The way the other car --

15 A. Okay. Yellow, flashing yellow.

16 Q. What do you understand you're supposed

17 to do when you see a flashing yellow?

18 A. Go ahead and go through the intersection

19 but make sure you look, make sure there's nobody

20 coming.

21 Q. Okay. Did either Juli or

22 Ms. Kleinheksel or any passenger say anything to

23 you?

24 A. Just Kristina.

25 Q. She was the one in the back seat/


Page 45

1 A. No. Front seat, front passenger.

2 Q. Okay. And what did she say to you?

3 A. Asked me if they were in trouble, asked

4 me if it was their fault, asked me where her

5 friends were, asked me if I would help her look for

6 her teeth.

7 Q. Did you look for her teeth?

8 A. No. I did not.

9 Q. Was she bloody?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Cuts on her face?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Now, the girl in the back seat then

14 would have been Ms. Kleinheksel?

15 A. Right.

16 Q. Did you observe what she was doing?

17 A. She was huddled in the corner shaking.

18 Q. Appear to be hurt?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Say anything to you?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Was she unconscious or in shock? Or

23 you've seen people in shock working in a nursing

24 home, I guess.

25 A. Yeah. I couldn't tell. She was almost


Page 46

1 having a seizure, so I couldn't tell, it seemed to

2 me.

3 Q. You've seen people in seizures?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. I don't think anybody asked you, did you

6 smell any booze or alcohol on Mr. Rokes?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Maybe somebody asked you that, but I

9 just wanted to make sure. And you've not seen any

10 of the people in -- that is, the two passengers of

11 the Farrell car, you haven't seen then since or

12 visited with them?

13 A. I've seen Tammy but I haven't visited

14 with her.

15 Q. Where?

16 A. At her work at the mall, somewhere else.

17 Q. In that picture something of interest to

18 me that I didn't think we've ever talked about.

19 There appears to be a truck here. Was that there

20 at the time of the collision, or was that because

21 of when this aerial view was taken? Do you know?

22 A. There was no truck around, no.

23 MR. GALLAGHER: Okay. Maybe Mr. Liabo

24 can explain. I assume that was there when the

25 aerial picture was taken? This appears to be a


Page 47

1 truck.

2 MR. LIABO: Yeah. The aerial was taken

3 within the last year.

4 MR. GALLAGHER: I'll accept your

5 statement.

6 MR. LIABO: It was a daylight photo.

7 The dump truck was not positioned there for

8 purposes of this photograph.

9 MR. GALLAGHER: Thank you.

10 MR. LIABO: It reflects some other

11 vehicle.

12 Q. (MR. GALLAGHER) Now, did you say that

13 the people in the silver car didn't go over to ask

14 about the people in the other car?

15 A. The wife came over.

16 Q. Okay. Did you know the identity of a

17 man who stayed with the driver of the Farrell car,

18 who was that?

19 A. I don't know who he is. I saw him

20 through the window. He wasn't there for very long.

21 Q. He was kneeling down by her?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Was the door opened then?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Did you stay there then until the


Page 48

1 ambulance came with the passengers in the Farrell

2 car?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. How long of a period was that? I know

5 it must have seemed like a long time, but do you

6 have any idea?

7 A. Until they --

8 Q. Until the ambulance came.

9 A. Until the ambulance came. 10, 5

10 minutes.

11 Q. Okay. Did you notice anything else

12 about the passengers in the Farrell car?

13 A. Nope.

14 Q. Okay.

15 MR. BEVEL: Is that no?

16 A. No.

17 MR. GALLAGHER: I believe that's all.

18 MR. TEMPLE: I don't have anything.

19 (Break was taken.)



22 Q. Ms. Girsch, you were asked a question, a

23 couple of questions to the effect that you're not

24 saying that Mr. Rokes was speeding. It was just

25 that he was not going to stop; is that correct?


Page 49

1 A. Right.

2 Q. When you say he wasn't speeding, you're

3 talking about in relation to the posted speed

4 limit?

5 A. Right.

6 Q. Not in relation to how fast you should

7 be going or not be going when you're supposed to be

8 coming to a stop?

9 A. Right.

10 Q. He should not have been going any speed?

11 A. Exactly.

12 Q. Okay. And I understand your testimony

13 about his condition. Would it surprise you to

14 learn that he'd been drinking just prior to this

15 collision?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Did you observe behavior on his part

18 consistent with somebody who's drunk?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And what behavior did you observe that's

21 consistent with somebody who's drunk?

22 A. The staggering, the confusion about

23 being in the road.

24 Q. Inattention?

25 A. Inattention. Not really worried on --


Page 50

1 not really worried about what really

2 happened.

3 Q. Not being worried about the other

4 people?

5 A. Right.

6 MR. LIABO: Thank you.



9 Q. Ms. Girsch, first, do you know the speed

10 limit for the traffic on Highway 58?

11 A. Yes. 55.

12 Q. Okay. Do you any idea what the

13 speed of the Farrell vehicle was?

14 A. I have no idea.

15 Q. Okay. When you say you noticed the

16 staggering, the confusion on the part of Mr. Rokes,

17 it's my understanding you're saying that that was

18 consistent with someone that has been -- was

19 intoxicated or had been drinking; is that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Would it also be consistent with someone

22 who's been hit in the head?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And he did have injuries to his face,

25 and it appeared that he had been injured in the


Page 51

1 accident somewhat?

2 A. Yes.

3 MR. BEVEL: I don't have any other

4 questions.



7 Q. I have just one question, Ms. Girsch.

8 My name is Dave Odekirk. I'm the attorney for the

9 Hills. When Mr. Bevel just asked you whether you

10 had any idea of what speed the Farrell car was

11 going, do you mean to say you couldn't tell us

12 whether it was 50 or 52 miles an hour?

13 A. I wouldn't know that.

14 Q. Earlier did I understand you correctly you

15 didn't think the car was exceeding the speed limit,

16 so somewhere between 55 and under would you say?

17 A. Yes.

18 Mr. ODEKIRK: I have no other

19 questions.



22 Q. I just want to clarify one thing that

23 Mr. Gallagher pointed out in my question when I

24 asked you about whether the Farrell could have done

25 anything -- the Farrell vehicle could have done


Page 52

1 anything to avoid the collision. I asked you about

2 anything improper or unlawful. Let just take

3 the word unlawful out of there so we make sure we

4 don't have any legal opinions. I just want to know

5 based upon your observations that night of the two

6 vehicles and the timing of the accident and

7 everything, was there anything at all that you

8 believe that the Farrell vehicle could have done to

9 avoid this collision?

10 MR. GALLAGHER: Object to that as

11 calling for opinion and conclusion and no proper

12 foundation. You can answer. I'm just making an

13 objection.

14 A. Okay. Can you repeat it.

15 Q. Sure. Would you repeat it back?

16 (The requested portion of the record was

17 read.)

18 MR. GALLAGHER: Same objection.

19 A. She probably could have swerved maybe to

20 the right, but I think it happened so fast that I

21 don't --

22 Q. We have some testimony from another

23 witness that indicated that the Farrell vehicle did

24 swerve off to the right before the accident. And I

25 think you said from you angle, you might not have


Page 53

1 been able to see that?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Would that be correct?

4 A. Right.

5 Q. Other than that do you think there's

6 anything that the Farrell vehicle, Juli Farrell

7 could have done to avoid the collision?

8 A. No.

9 Q. And why is that?

10 A. I think it just happened so fast that

11 she had no reaction time to do anything about it.

12 MR. HELLMAN: Thank you.



15 Q. You also told me that there was vision

16 for the automobiles on 58 to see traffic coming on

17 Greenhill Road? I mean, there wasn't anything to

18 block Rokes' vision or Farrell's vision; is that

19 right.

20 A. No.

21 MR. GALLAGHER: That's all I have.

22 MR. LIABO: That's all. Thank you.

updated 12/19/16