Duda found not guilty of impaired or dangerous driving

A Red Deer man was found not guilty on Friday of driving impaired or dangerously before a rollover crash near Sylvan Lake that killed his “best friend” and uncle.

A Red Deer man was found not guilty on Friday of driving impaired or dangerously before a rollover crash near Sylvan Lake that killed his “best friend” and uncle.

Mathew Joseph Duda, 24, was charged with impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death more than 14 months after the June 4, 2008, collision on Hwy 11 about two km east of Sylvan Lake. A charge of failing to remain at the scene of an accident was later withdrawn.

At first, Duda denied being behind the wheel but confessed to being the driver in August 2009 during an interview at Bowden Institution, where he was serving time on other offences.

Ross Loblaw, 36, of Delburne died after he was thrown from the truck when it rolled several times after hitting the grassed median about 3 a.m. as the two returned to Red Deer after being at a Rocky Mountain House bar. Loblaw died at the scene and was found by passersby, who called police.

Duda testified this week that he went looking for help, passed out and then hitchhiked into Red Deer the next day.

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Kirk Sisson said that while Duda, who has a long criminal record, was an “unreliable and self-serving witness,” there simply was not enough evidence to convict him of the two charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

“I would have preferred to convict you. But the evidence isn’t there,” said Sisson.

He said he didn’t know what Duda intended to do with his life but hoped that after the death of his uncle that he had “smartened up and his death is not for nothing.”

Just Posted

Improving life for people with Alzheimer’s and their families is a priority for Raitt

The federal Conservatives deputy leader is dealing with the disease in her own home

PHOTO: International Peace Day

Visitors broke bread, made crafts and trading cards at a gathering marking… Continue reading

Snowfall warning issued for Central Alberta

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Central Alberta Friday afternoon. Warning… Continue reading

POLL: Most Red Deerians don’t want cell phones in the classroom

Sixty-six per cent of Advocate readers who responded to an on-line poll… Continue reading

Grassroots movement to clean up Red Deer is gaining momentum

Homeless people need more attention than shopping carts, says former councillor Cindy Jefferies

Updated: Grey Cup in Red Deer to raise funds for military families

Money raised will go to the Military Family Resource Centre and be used locally

Dustin Byfuglien scores in overtime, Jets beat Flames 4-3 in pre-season

WINNIPEG — Bryan Little tied the game late in the third and… Continue reading

Mistrial denied in Calgary murder trial over jury’s visit to hotel Denny’s

CALGARY — A Calgary judge has denied a request for a mistrial… Continue reading

Former Canadian astronaut says space shuttle is a vehicle of hope

OTTAWA — Sending messages of hope from space is a big part… Continue reading

Canada requests trade panel on uncoated groundwood paper ruling by U.S.

OTTAWA — Canada has requested a NAFTA trade panel review a U.S.… Continue reading

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

SURREY, B.C. — Three First Nations in British Columbia gathered today to… Continue reading

Tail with a happy ending: Dog rescued from fighting ring, ready for police work

Dallas’s ear-to-ear grin and bright brown eyes seem to sparkle with joy.… Continue reading

Liberal leader doubles down on notion that $75 weekly grocery bill is possible

MONTREAL — One day after being ridiculed for saying it was possible… Continue reading

Jury resumes deliberating man’s guilt in Calgary mother of four’s death

CALGARY — Jurors are continuing to deliberate the guilt of a man… Continue reading

Most Read