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Voir dire in fatal crash case shown video evidence

A voir dire continued on Monday in the trial of a former Manitoba man accused of causing the collision that killed his best friend.

Nathan Michael Medwid, 19, died after being ejected from his car after it rolled off of Hwy 20 about five km north of Sylvan Lake in the early hours of Dec. 5, 2006.

Preston Clifford Hanson, now 25, was arrested at his home in Sylvan Lake in June 2010 and charged with impaired driving causing death.

Evidence in the voire dire was given on Monday by police officers involved in the investigation.

A voir dire, or trial within a trial, is held to determine whether certain evidence is admissible in the trial proper.

The trial is being held in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench before Justice Monica Bast.

Voir dire evidence heard on Monday included videotape taken from Hanson’s interview with an investigator from an RCMP Major Crimes Unit on the day of his arrest.

During the interview, Sgt. Daniel Murray McCullum of Calgary repeatedly challenges Hanson’s story that Medwid had been asleep in the passenger seat and someone else was driving the car while Hanson himself was asleep in the back seat.

McCullum questions Hanson’s ability to give the 911 dispatcher a precise location for the collision when he was supposed to have been asleep in the back seat.

McCullum tells Hanson that the police have facts that will be brought up in court, including an electronic module, similar to the black box in an airplane, that recorded the speed of the car seconds before the collision and whether any of its seatbelts were in use.

Hanson remains silent through much of the videotaped interview, which was conducted at the Red Deer City RCMP detachment.

Court heard previously that Hanson and Medwid came to Central Alberta from their hometown of Swan River, Man., to work in Alberta’s oilpatch and that they were on their way home to Rimbey after a night of celebration in Red Deer.

The trial opened on Feb. 5 and is scheduled to last three weeks. Defence counsel Bob Sawers said earlier that he anticipates it will take less time since his client changed his mind about being tried by judge and jury and decided instead for trial by judge alone.

Parents and family members of both young men have attended court every day since the trial began.

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