Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff Daniel Newsham, second from left, leaves Red Deer Courthouse Tuesday. Newsham is on trial for manslaughter in connection with an August 2016 fatal collision near Lousana.

High-speed chase led to fatal collision, jury hears

A Delburne man accused of manslaughter caused a fatal rollover collision during a high-speed chase when he rear-ended a stolen pickup he was pursuing, said a Crown prosecutor.

Stanley Dick, 32, was thrown when the Ford F-150 he was fleeing in hit the ditch and rolled. He later died in hospital from multiple blunt force injuries, said Crown prosecutor Brittany Ashmore in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Tuesday.

Daniel Wayne Newsham, 47, is on trial for manslaughter for his involvement in the Hwy 42 collision near Lousana a short time after 11 p.m. on Aug. 14, 2016.

The defence says Dick caused the collision by swerving into Newsham’s pursuing truck as he followed him on Hwy 42.

The seven-man, five-woman jury heard the first witnesses Tuesday morning in what is expected to be a seven-day trial.

Ashmore said the chain of events began around 11 p.m., when Newsham called police to report a suspicious Dodge Dakota outside his Delburne business.

Newsham followed the Dakota onto a rural property, where it hit a fuel tank. The driver then stole a Ford F-150 from the property and fled, with Newsham, his passenger and the pickup’s owner in pursuit in Newsham’s Dodge Ram pickup.

Prior to the collision, Newsham spoke to a second officer, who warned him not to follow the other vehicle.

“She told him to stop what he was doing,” said Ashmore.

On Hwy 42, near Range Road 240, Newsham’s truck hit the back of the stolen pickup.

“That forced the Ford into the ditch, where it eventually rolled and caused him (Dick) to be ejected,” she said.

Colby Grant Henderson, 23, was staying at a rural property when he heard commotion in the yard and saw his pickup disappearing down the access road to the property.

Newsham then pulled up in his orange truck. Henderson jumped in behind Newsham’s passenger and they headed off after the stolen truck.

They followed it down gravel roads to Hwy 42 where the chase continued west. Henderson described a tense pursuit with Newsham trying to get around Dick, who swerved to prevent it.

“He was all over the road,” he testified.

Ashmore asked what was going through Henderson’s head during the chase.

“I’m hoping the guy will pull over. It’s really close proximity. I’m nervous. It was bumper to bumper on the highway.”

Newsham moved to the left in one passing attempt and Dick was a little over the centre line to prevent it. That’s when the front right of Newsham’s truck made contact with the left rear of the stolen truck.

“It fish-tailed, skidded, hit the gravel part, slid,” he testified. The pickup then swerved onto the pavement and started rolling and Dick was thrown out.

Newsham immediately stopped his truck and everyone got out, stunned .

“It was just kind of shock. Everyone was freakin’ about what happened.”

Other people arrived, including a passing nurse, who tended to Dick before the police and ambulance arrived.

On cross-examination, defence lawyer Balfour Der questioned Henderson closely about the vehicles’ movements just before the collision.

Henderson agreed Dick cut off and side-swiped Newsham, who hit the brakes and pulled into the right lane.

But on questioning, he was not sure Dick hit his own brakes just before the collision.

At first, Henderson testified that the two vehicles made contact twice during the chase. But under cross-examination, Henderson agreed he could not be sure.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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