Driver thought he had hit animal on bridge, not pedestrian

The driver accused of leaving the scene after striking and killing a pedestrian in Red Deer said he thought he had hit some sort of animal, possibly a bear or a deer.

The driver accused of leaving the scene after striking and killing a pedestrian in Red Deer said he thought he had hit some sort of animal, possibly a bear or a deer.

Lawyers for the Crown and defence will state their cases today in the trial of Brent Robert Cameron, 26, accused of leaving the scene of an injury or fatal collision and then making up a lie to cover his tracks.

Paul Gabriel Bertin, 18, died at about 2 a.m. on Oct. 6, 2012, after being struck down on the northbound lanes of Taylor Drive Bridge in Red Deer.

Brent Robert Cameron is now on trial before Justice John Little in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on charges that he failed to remain at the scene to avoid prosecution and public mischief for making a false report to police about his vehicle being stolen.

Court heard evidence on Tuesday that Bertin was struck twice; first by Cameron’s 2010 Subaru Outback, and then by another vehicle with a lower profile that drove over him as he lay on the road.

In her testimony on Wednesday, Calgary-based medical examiner Tera Jones stated that Bertin died from the head and neck injuries sustained in the initial collision. Scrapes on his face and chest from the second vehicle were not connected with the cause of his death, said Jones.

In a video recording of his second statement to an RCMP investigator, played for the court on Wednesday, Cameron acknowledged that he was driving the Subaru when it hit something on the bridge, but denies stopping the car to find out what he had hit.

“A black figure ran out in front of me. I immediately panicked, thinking I’d hit an animal.”

Cameron, who had moved to Red Deer from New Brunswick about 18 months earlier, told the officer that whatever he hit had darted out in front of him. He thought it could have been a bear or a deer.

He acknowledged having a passenger in the car, but said she never saw what happened.

Court heard earlier that the pair had met at a downtown bar and were planning to attend an after-hours party in Riverside Meadows.

In his video statement, Cameron confirmed the woman’s testimony on Tuesday that he parked the car in Riverside Meadows after the collision and then called a cab and sent her away.

He said he never did learn her name and doubted that she knew his.

He told the officer that, after parking his damaged car, he walked to a buddy’s house for a few beers before walking home.

He admitted to lying about the car being stolen during his initial interview with the same investigator.

“I didn’t think it was a big issue at the time,” he said.

“I didn’t know what to do, I was in, like, such a panic.”

Cameron was adamant that he had his eyes on the road the full time, but did not see whatever it was that he hit. Defence counsel Glen Allen of Wetaskiwin stated at the outset that he will not contest the charge of public mischief relating to the stolen vehicle report.

Allen called no evidence after Crown prosecutor Wayne Silliker closed his case.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com