Updated: Driver found guilty in 2016 Canada Day fatal crash

Accused guilty of dangerous driving that led to deaths of two and serious injuries of two others

A Red Deer man was found guilty on Friday of dangerous driving before a Canada Day 2016 crash that left two passengers dead and another two badly injured.

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Bill Hopkins said the evidence showed that Dylan Beauclair 21, was driving at least 120 km/h before losing control on a rural road just east of the city. About 40 people were in court when Hopkins found Beauclair guilty of all four charges against him, two counts each of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Rear passengers Ashleigh Smith, 16, of Springbrook, and John Dolliver, 18, of Penhold, were thrown from the 2008 Grand Prix and died at the scene of the collision around 11:25 p.m. A then-17-year-old girl suffered three broken ribs, back fractures and facial injuries. Another 17-year-old girl had neck and back injuries.

Beauclair suffered minor injuries.

Hopkins said evidence during Beauclair’s trial in February showed that he ignored five sets of rumble strips and other warning signs before blowing through a stop sign at Highway 808 and Hwy 595, about 10 km east of Red Deer. The southbound speeding car crossed Highway 595 to the gravel Range Road 261, where Beauclair lost control after narrowly missing an oncoming vehicle.

An RCMP collision expert found no signs of braking before Beauclair’s vehicle veered off the road, hitting a fence and utility pole before rolling. None of the five inside were wearing seatbelts and all three passengers in the rear seat were thrown out.

Readings taken from the vehicle’s electronics showed it had been travelling at 140 km/h five seconds before the collision.

The five had headed out in the evening to watch Canada Day fireworks in Sylvan Lake. But rain led them to drop those plans and head out to Joffre to a party.

At some point Beauclair’s girlfriend was phoned by her father and told to return home. Beauclair was driving his girlfriend home when the crash happened.

Sentencing is expected to happen on Aug. 15. It is anticipated a number of victim impact statements will be read in court. The maximum penalty for dangerous driving causing death is 14 years in prison. Dangerous driving causing bodily harm carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.



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