Dutch teen guilty of killing friend in local crash

A Dutch teenager, driving the vehicle involved in a collision near Red Deer that killed his friend, is returning to the Netherlands this week to help bury that friend.

A Dutch teenager, driving the vehicle involved in a collision near Red Deer that killed his friend, is returning to the Netherlands this week to help bury that friend.

Tobias Johannes Witkop, 18, an agricultural exchange student on a Red Deer farm, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Red Deer provincial court to careless driving which resulted in the death of Carl Hieboer, 19, who was also from the Netherlands.

Witkop was fined the maximum $402 and had his passport returned to him so he could go home, court heard.

The crash occurred on the night of May 23 at the intersection of 40th Avenue and McKenzie Road in Red Deer County.

Crown prosecutor Maurice Collard told Judge Harry Gaede that Witkop either didn’t stop for a stop sign or rolled through it when the vehicle he was driving was struck by an eastbound vehicle on McKenzie Road.

The victim died at the scene.

The driver of the eastbound vehicle suffered minor injuries.

Collard said a police investigation found neither alcohol or excessive speed were factors.

He said both students were here for a three-week work exchange program that had just finished.

Collard said police had taken Witkop’s passport until he dealt with the charge.

Defence lawyer Will Willms said both students were ready to embark on a vacation before the “tragic event.”

He said he had a letter from the victim’s family indicating they were delaying the funeral until Witkop could return home.

Willms said he had instructions from Witkop to wrap up the court proceeding as soon as possible.

“He simply didn’t see the other vehicle coming at the intersection,” Willms added.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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