A Red Deer man paid a fine of $500 on Tuesday after pleading guilty in connection with a two-vehicle crash that killed a taxi driver last summer.
Donald Roland Ogloff, 55, was pronounced dead at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre after a collision between his northbound cab and a southbound car at the intersection of 30th Avenue and 55th Street at about 12:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 23.
Ogloff’s fare, a 22-year-old man, was treated for minor injuries at the scene.
Crown prosecutor Robin Joudrey said in Red Deer provincial court on Tuesday that Romulo Bautista, 33, was attempting to make a left turn when his smaller car collided with Ogloff’s taxi. Bautista was not injured.
Police investigations revealed that Ogloff may not have been wearing his seatbelt at the time, said defence counsel Patrick Penny.
While the fine for an unsafe left turn is normally $115 under Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act, Penny and Joudrey worked out a plea deal resulting in their joint recommendation for a heftier fine.
Police reports indicate that Bautista was travelling at a normal rate, but sped up to make the turn as the taxi was approaching the intersection, said Joudrey.
Penny told Judge Bert Skinner that his client has been struggling with Ogloff’s death since the morning of the collision and originally planned to fight his ticket in court, but decided instead to plead guilty and move on.
“Mr. Bautista deals with the pain of this every day,” said Penny. He pointed out that his client has no criminal record nor does he have a record of traffic offences.
There were no victim impact statements submitted, nor was there anyone from Ogloff’s family present in the courtroom.