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Carver trial opens with victim’s testimony

A young impaired driver should have seen a woman crossing the street in downtown Red Deer when he struck and badly injured her, provincial court heard on Thursday.

The case of Kyle Brian Carver, 18, of Sylvan Lake, opened Thursday afternoon after Red Deer provincial court Judge B.D. Rosborough said he would allow the trial to proceed. Initially, defence lawyer Peter Northcott asked for re-election by judge and jury on Wednesday.

Carver then pleaded guilty to driving while over .08. The trial continued in regards to the charges of impaired driving causing bodily harm, leaving the scene of a collision in which someone suffered bodily harm, and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Crown prosecutor Maurice Collard told the court that Brittany Ellison, 25, has a titanium rod in her hip, a trachea scar, increased anxiety, as well as other health issues after being struck at about 3 a.m. on March 17, 2012.

Ellison testified that she had hung out with four friends the night before and had consumed alcohol at various places. After being at a downtown nightclub, the five of them began walking towards McDonalds, which is along 52nd Avenue, where they intended to get a cab.

Ellison said the last thing she remembered was the last store she was looking at, McBain Camera, at the corner of 48th Street and 52nd Avenue. She said she was been doing “normal walking” and didn’t remember being hit.

Crown witness Justin Van Den Maagdenberg said that he saw the truck approaching when he went to cross the street at 52nd Avenue from 48th Street. But he figured that the driver was far enough away and that the area was well lit, plus he was walking within the crosswalk. Ellison, his girlfriend at the time, was walking about two feet behind. He said that the truck was about three-quarters of a block south of 48th Street.

“There were street lights everywhere — pretty easy to see,” said Van Den Maagdenberg.

While walking across, he said he felt like someone had “flicked his hoodie” and then he turned around and saw Ellison airborne. Van Den Maagdenberg said he noticed that the driver hadn’t even tapped his brake lights. He said he didn’t see the truck hit her.

He estimated the truck was travelling between 40 and 50 km/h.

Van Den Maagdenberg said he ran up to the driver, who by then had made it to the lights at 52nd Street and 49th Avenue, and he tried to break the driver’s window twice with his elbow. On the third time, he fell down. Van Den Maagdenberg then testified that he opened the door and spoke to the accused, saying twice that “you just hit somebody.”

“He looked back and said ‘nah,’” said Van Den Maagdenberg. “So I hit him.”

Van Den Maagdenberg said he didn’t remember the passenger in the truck looking over at all at him.

Van Den Maagdenberg said there was a “kind of a tussle”, trying to get Carver out of the truck and at one point, Carver said ‘stop, I will get out.’ But he then sped off while Van Den Maagdenberg ripped at his shirt. The truck headed down a wrong way at 49th Street, then corrected itself at 50th Street, said Van Den Maagdenberg.

Van Den Maagdenberg said he got the licence plate number.

Crown witness Andrew Smith said that both Van Den Maagdenberg and Ellison were in the crosswalk and that he, along with those two, were walking at a normal rate of speed.

It wasn’t perfectly well lit, but there were street lights, he said.

Ellison was drunk, but not unable to walk, Smith added.

Crown witness Tamara Charles testified that she was preparing to cross the street with Smith when she saw her friend fly through the air, but she didn’t see the actual impact. Prior to that, she hadn’t seen the truck, she said.

The trial resumes this morning.

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