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 A charge of failing to remain at the scene of an accident was later withdrawn.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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Weinstein conviction sends right message, says advocate

“Don’t stay in silence because we can make this end one day”

One actor tackles 33 zany characters in CAT’s social satire, Fully Committed

Ash Mercia is taking on an actor’s biggest challenge

Sylvan Lakers asked for playground input

Town has set aside $250,000 to replace Centennial Park playground

Alberta legislature resumes: Focus on jobs and bill to punish protesters

EDMONTON — A new legislature sitting has begun with the Alberta government… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Bucks defeat Raptors in battle of Eastern Conference heavyweights

Bucks 108 Raptors 97 TORONTO — Khris Middleton scored 22 points as… Continue reading

Monahan, Backlund score 2G each, Flames beat Bruins 5-2

Flames 5 Bruins 2 BOSTON — Sean Monahan scored a pair of… Continue reading

Canadian Pacific obtains injunction to end Mohawk rail blockade in Kahnawake

MONTREAL — Canadian Pacific Railway obtained an injunction Tuesday aimed at ending… Continue reading

Alberta legislature resumes: Focus on jobs and bill to punish protesters

EDMONTON — A new session of the Alberta legislature began Tuesday with… Continue reading

Red Deer realtor is Century 21’s best seller worldwide

Nobody sold more units than Gavin Heintz among company’s 139,000 realtors

Red Deer District Community Foundation looking for volunteer board members

The Red Deer & District Community Foundation is looking for new board… Continue reading

Feds seek 21 months for Hot Pockets heiress in college scam

BOSTON — Prosecutors are seeking nearly two years in prison for an… Continue reading

Most Read