College student killed, driver charged with impaired driving

One teen is dead and another has been charged with impaired driving causing death after a collision on Tuesday. Mathhew Taylor, 18, of who was thrown from a vehicle in a crash in north Red Deer died of his injuries Wednesday — the same day he was to have begun classes at Red Deer College

One teen is dead and another has been charged with impaired driving causing death after a collision on Tuesday.

Matthew Taylor, 18, of who was thrown from a vehicle in a crash in north Red Deer died of his injuries Wednesday — the same day he was to have begun classes at Red Deer College.

Taylor moved to Red Deer recently from Hay River, N.W.T.

Taylor is the fifth person to die in a motor vehicle collision in Red Deer this year, one of the worst years in more than a decade.

The latest collision occurred about 2:50 a.m. on Tuesday morning, along 77 Street, near the intersection of 45th Avenue Close in Red Deer.

Darith Rin, 19, of Red Deer, is facing charges of impaired driving causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm. He has been released from custody and is set to appear in Red Deer provincial court on Nov. 23.

“This is such a tragedy, an 18-year-old man who was supposed to be starting college on the day he ends up dying is a tragedy,” said Cpl. Kathe DeHeer, with the Red Deer City RCMP.

Police have said that a car with three young men was travelling east bound on 77 Street, when the driver allegedly lost control and went into the north ditch where it struck concrete posts and a fire hydrant.

Taylor, a passenger in the vehicle and not secured by a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle. Taylor was taken to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and then transferred to Edmonton via STARS. The 19-year-old driver was trapped and the Jaws of Life were used to get him out of the vehicle. The second passenger, who was wearing his seat belt, has been treated and released from hospital.

DeHeer said this is probably one of the worst years for fatal motor vehicle collisions in Red Deer since she began working in the community 11 years ago.

Brad and Krista Howe, age 34 and 35, lost their lives on Feb. 7, Anouluck (Jeffrey) Chanminaraj, age 13, died on Canada Day and Christopher Ian Smith, 28, died in a motorcycle crash on June 24.

In three of the collisions, in which four Red Deer residents lost their lives, drivers have been charged with impaired driving offences.

Chad Mitchell Olsen, 23, of Sedalia, has been charged with two counts of impaired driving causing death, two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and two counts of driving with a blood alcohol level of over 0.08 causing death in relation to a collision involving a Red Deer couple. The Howes died after their eastbound car and a pick-up collided at Ironstone Drive. Olsen returns to court on Nov. 10.

In the fatal collision involving Chanminaraj, Rodney Ross Arens, 32, has been charged with impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, refusing to provide a Breathalyzer sample, refusing to provide a breath sample after a vehicle collision causing death and refusing to provide a breath sample after a vehicle collision causing bodily harm. Chanminaraj was in a vehicle driven by his sister and accompanied by his brother when their car was T-boned at the corner of Taylor Drive and Kerry Wood Drive. The siblings had been heading to the Canada Day celebrations at Bower Ponds. Arens is expected to return to Red Deer court on Oct. 1.

Alcohol was not considered a factor in the collision where Smith lost his life. Red Deer City RCMP have said the motorcycle was headed eastbound on 32 Street when it collided with the front passenger side of the pickup truck. The truck had allegedly been travelling westbound and was making a left-hand turn onto 47th Avenue when the crash occurred. Police have said the pickup truck driver was not at fault and no charges have been laid.

DeHeer said there is a lot of research that has been done showing that certain things contribute to fatal motor vehicle collisions and serious bodily harm. She said among those are impaired driving and not wearing a seat belt.

“To avoid a collision slow down, don’t drink and drive and wear your seat belt,” DeHeer said. “Those are the three most common causal factors in death and serious injury as the result of a collision.”

DeHeer recommends that it is better if people don’t drink at all if they plan to drive.

DeHeer said she doesn’t know if people are getting the message that driving while impaired is very dangerous, with it slowing people’s reflexes and their reaction time. She said it is better if people don’t drink at all if they plan to drive.

“That is the only insurance you have. Otherwise you’re guessing at how much you’ve had and what your blood alcohol is,” DeHeer said.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com