Advocate file photo

Evidence issues delay preliminary hearing for Saskatchewan man charged in fatal hit and run

Red Deer man was hit and killed in March 2018

A preliminary hearing for a Saskatchewan man accused of leaving the scene of a fatal collision was adjourned after RCMP sent thousands of pages of documents to the Crown prosecutor the day before the session was to begin.

Red Deer Crown prosecutor Ed Ring said his office received well over 5,000, “closer to 10,000” pages, of disclosure in electronic form on Tuesday in connection with the case against Tosh Verstraeten.

The Nipawin, Sask., man is charged with failing to remain at the scene of a collision in which a person died, in connection with the death of a Red Deer man on the night of March 11, 2018.

Darren Nickolson, 38, was helping a friend with his trailer, which was parked on the road, when he was struck by a pickup and killed near 52nd Avenue and 76th Street.

It is alleged that Verstraeten was driving and then fled the scene.

RCMP found the older model pickup involved in the collision in April. After a lengthy investigation, which included public tips, police arrested Verstraeten in Nipawin in November 2018.

Ring told Red Deer provincial court Judge Robin Snider he has not had time to review the disclosure to determine whether it contains new information. Crown prosecutors are obligated to share disclosure with defence lawyers.

The Crown prosecutor told the judge he will also look into why police provided so much information on the eve of a two-day preliminary hearing that was set to begin for Verstraeten.

Preliminary hearings are held to determine if there is sufficient evidence to take cases to trial.

Snider said it was unfortunate that the disclosure issue will mean two days of court time will “now basically be unusable.”

Verstraeten, who still lives in Nipawin, was not in court Wednesday.

His Regina lawyer, Michael Owens, said when he heard about the disclosure issue, and the need to adjourn, he advised Verstraeten, who was three hours on the road to Red Deer, to turn back.

Nipawin is about 11 hours driving from Red Deer.

The case returns to court on Nov. 30 to set a new preliminary hearing date.

News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet arrives at Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Air Canada agrees to $5.9-billion aid package, giving Ottawa equity stake in airline

$1.4 billion earmarked to help reimburse thousands of customers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with Yukon Premier Sandy Silver as Liberal on Wednesday February 8, 2017 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Yukon headed for minority government as two main parties in a tie

Liberals came into the election looking to build on their surprise 2016 majority win

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence headquarters in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Sajjan took aim at recent Chinese military expansions into the South China Sea this evening even as he faced questions about the Liberal government’s ties to Beijing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Sajjan targets Chinese claims in South China Sea, battles Tories over Beijing ties

HMCS Calgary shadowed for at least part of the voyage as it passed near the disputed Spratly Islands

Transport trucks approach the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. North American trade is facing a “critical moment” in the ongoing aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, say Canadian business leaders as they embark on a concerted campaign to fortify ties with the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Canada-U.S. trade faces ‘critical moment’ that demands urgent action, businesses warn

Will fall to Canada to ensure its best interests are represented

Two RCMP officers observe a moment of silence to honour slain Const. Heidi Stevenson and the other 21 victims of the mass killings at a checkpoint on Portapique Road in Portapique, N.S. on Friday, April 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
RCMP under scrutiny one year after mass killing that left 22 dead in Nova Scotia

Questions raised about why it took police 13 hours to stop mass killing

Letter: Leaders like MLA Jason Stephan should work towards greater good

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan talks about the devastating social and… Continue reading

Opinion: Women, hit hardest by pandemic, key to economic recovery

Events of the past year have laid bare the many disparities and… Continue reading

Children at the Port Angeles Boys & Girls Club practice social distancing throughout the day to minimize the spreading of germs and potentially the coronavirus. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula
Opinion: Teach young people these five principles

At all ages, young people may be the subject of mean behaviours… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: MLAs need to think about all Albertans

I was surprised to find more than a dozen UCP MLAs were… Continue reading

Sweden skip Niklas Edin makes a shot against Scotland in the Men's World Curling Championship gold medal final in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, April 11, 2021. Curling's Humpty's Champions Cup in Calgary has been pushed back a day due to the delayed finish of the men's world championship. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 12, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Most Read