Is Transportation Offical an Impartial Expert Witness in Overpass Collapse?

Guy Richard, director of structures for the Quebec Transport Department, denies his department was responsible for the collapse of an overpass that killed five people last September. Richard’s testimony contradicts every independent expert witness who has appeared before the commission to date and raises questions regarding his impartiality. Although Richard appeared as an independent transporation engineering expert witness Friday at the Johnson Commission hearings, he is a senior official at the transport department. He described the shear crack as hidden inside the overpass and that cutting into the overpass to check it would have damaged the structure. As reported in

Patrick Henry, lawyer for the employees of Desjardins Sauriol, the company that built the overpass, said Richard’s credibility is very low because he essentially wears several hats. “He was the boss of the men who did the last two inspections, which have been criticized by a variety of experts,” Henry noted. “He’s testifying for his own cause.” Henry said in an interview he will urge the commission in his pleadings to give very little credibility to Richard’s report.