Almost seven years after the roof of a temporary stage came crashing down in Toronto’s Downsview Park killing Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson, the longer overdue coroner’s inquest into the tragedy is coming to a close.
This is not a trial. No charges are being filed. No one will be sent to jail. Instead, this is an investigation into what happened in hopes of preventing such an accident in the future. However, any recommendations made by the jury will be non-binding. Still, it’s something.
After almost three weeks of testimony from more than two dozen witnesses things began to wind up yesterday (April 9) with a statement from Ken Johnson, Scott’s father (via The CBC):
“The facts are that the stage was overloaded with no factor of safety. Bracing was missing, as were clamps to hold the Cat Head beams, with a lack of trained operatives working excessive hours.
“I hope that no one is in doubt that Scott’s life could have been saved. We feel he was also let down by the justice system and consider that the closure of the case not only had gaps but was not honest in its use of that 11b motion.”
At one point, Johnson referred to the collapse as a result of “clearly staggering…levels of incompetence.”
The jury is now deliberating over six recommendations that could ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.