Inquest into fatal Radiohead stage collapse underway in Toronto

Drum technician was killed when a massive structure crashed down on him at Downsview Park

The father of a man killed when the stage collapsed at a Radiohead concert in Toronto nearly seven years ago says he hopes a coroner’s inquest into his son’s death will bring some closure.

Speaking outside the inquest that began Monday, Ken Johnson says he has thought of his son, Scott Johnson, every day since the incident that claimed his life on June 16, 2012.

Scott Johnson, Radiohead’s drum technician, was killed when a massive structure crashed down on him just hours before the band was set to take the stage at Downsview Park.

Charges in the case were stayed because the case took too long to get to trial.

The inquest, which is expected to last three weeks and hear from roughly 25 witnesses, will examine the circumstances around Johnson’s death, but will not assign blame.

A jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing similar incidents.

Ken Johnson and Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke have been highly critical of the judicial process.

“I still have a problem with that, that causes me great concern that the case wasn’t completed,” Johnson said Monday outside the coroner’s court. “So yeah it’s painful but I’m quite happy that events here will resolve all that.”

When the British band played in Toronto last summer for the first time since the incident, Yorke did not hold back.

“The people who should be held accountable are still not being held accountable,” he told the crowd at Scotiabank Arena in July 2018.

After an investigation, 13 charges were laid under provincial health and safety laws against the show’s promoter, Live Nation, contractor Optex Staging and engineer Domenic Cugliari.

The case went off the rails when the presiding judge at trial declared he had lost jurisdiction after being appointed to a higher court. Another judge declared a mistrial and a new hearing was planned.

READ MORE: Friends appeal to Taylor Swift via Twitter after death of B.C. fan

Defence lawyers argued the charges should be stayed because the delays violated their clients’ rights to a timely trial, which was expected to wrap up in mid-2018, five years after the charges were laid.

The new judge agreed, noting the Supreme Court of Canada’s so-called Jordan decision, which set a ceiling of 18 months for proceedings in provincial court.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pick all your apples and save the bears

As summer ends, bears become more active looking for food

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

B.C. Premier announces fall election

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka reacts to election announcement

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Vancouver Island family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

Most Read