Laura Baziuk | Email news tips to email@example.com
B-C Supreme Court is hearing from one of the two people alone on the bridge the night the Queen of the North ferry sank in March of 2006, killing two people.
Karen Briker, the Quartermaster that night, says she was alone on the bridge with ex-lover Fourth Officer Karl Lilgert, who was accused of criminal negligence causing the deaths of two passengers.
In the moments before the collision, Bricker says Lilgert gave her an order to change the ship's course.
She says she questioned it, he confirmed it, and she turned to input the order into the controls.
She says she then saw tree-tops referring to the ferry running aground on Gil Island.
Briker says Lilgert told her to turn the Auto-Pilot off, but she didn't know how, so he came over to do it.
Briker says she rushed to the Captain's room after the boat hit Gil island, and heard Karl Lilgert back in the bridge yelling "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I was trying to get around the fishing boat," but that the weather had obscured the radar.
She tells the court once in a lifeboat, she feared she had caused the crash because she didn't know how to turn off the autopilot controls, but that Lilgert had told her it it wasn't her fault.
Before the collision, Briker, Lilgert's ex-lover, says the two had been talking about how she had just bought a house, and that it appeared to Lilgert had been unaware.
Bricker admits she approached Lilgert to start a sexual relationship in September of 2005.
Bricker testified the two slept together for months despite both of them being in relationships with other people.
Lilgert was married.
She says the sex continued even after her common law husband found out and confronted her with it.
But Bricker is adamant she and Lilgert finally ended the relationship just weeks prior to the Queen of the North sinking.
That night she and Lilgert were alone on the bridge, but Bricker says the two had no physical contact.
Bricker insists everything was cordial and professional.
However she also says she was "nervous and not confident" about steering the doomed Queen of the North.
Briker says she logged only six hours on the Queen of the North prior to its last passage.
When questioned Briker admits the steering wheel and auto pilot systems on the Queen of the North were different compared to another ferry she had served on.
The Queen of the North sank in March of 2006 and Lilgert is charged with criminal negligence causing the deaths of two passengers after the ferry struck Gil island and went down.