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Man pleads guilty to driving over blood alcohol limit

The trial of a man charged in a hit and run collision that left a Red Deer pedestrian seriously injured wrapped up on Friday.

Crown prosecutor Maurice Collard called his final witness, Brad Hooey, who was out with his four friends, including Brittany Ellison who was struck about 3 a.m. last March 17 by a pickup truck northbound on 52nd Avenue.

The truck’s driver, Kyle Brian Carver, 18, of Sylvan Lake Carver, was being tried for impaired driving causing bodily harm, leaving the scene of a collision in which someone suffered bodily harm, and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

He pleaded guilty in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday to driving over the blood alcohol limit of .08. Provincial court judge B.D. Rosborough will give a decision on May 28 at 12 p.m.

Hooey testified that after having four drinks with his friends, he “knew what was going on” as they walked back to McDonald’s near 48th Street and 52nd Avenue in Red Deer when the truck struck Ellison, now 25.

He was the first person to get across the street and when the collision occurred he heard a thud and saw that Ellison was on the street.

Defence lawyer Peter Northcott of Edmonton called no witnesses. During his final arguments, Collard argued there was enough evidence to show that Carver was impaired.

A police officer noted that Carver almost tripped in the hallway of the Sylvan RCMP station and as a result, the officer grabbed his arm to steady him.

The statement of facts, agreed by defence and the Crown, also showed that when Carver was asked by police how drunk he was on a scale of 1 to 10, Carver said he was a 6.

Collard said that Carver’s pickup truck had headlights and yet he hit Ellison in a well lit area and didn’t slow down.

“(Ellison) was diligent . . . she was within the crosswalk,” said Collard. “The truck was three-quarters of the way down the block. All the fault rests with him and he was over .08.”

However, Northcott questioned the reliability of Ellison’s testimony since she was drinking that night, and possibly had smoked marijuana earlier with the rest of the group, according to the testimony of Hooey.

“I’m not attacking her credibility, but her reliability,” said Northcott.

In the few seconds just before the crash, no one had actually seen what Ellison was doing, he added.

The collision analyst said the right hand side of the truck’s bumper showed dirt, he added.

When asked by police whether he remembered hitting someone, Carver replied that there was a bump and looking back he saw a brown dot. This should not be a conclusion that he had hit a person, said Northcott.

Northcott said there was no evidence of impairment on the road and he disputed the Crown testimony that impairment was to blame for Carver going down the wrong way at 49th Street.

It could be easily concluded that Carver took off in whatever direction because of “the immediate panic of the situation”, he said.

ltester@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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