A 19-year-old Sylvan Lake man was found guilty on Tuesday of seriously injuring a pedestrian after a night on the town in Red Deer in early 2012.
Provincial court judge Bart Rosborough found Kyle Brian Carver guilty of the one offence of driving over .08 causing bodily harm in connection with a 3 a.m. incident on March 17, 2012. Brittany Ellison, now 26, of Sylvan Lake was severely injured after she was struck by Carver who was driving a truck northbound on 52nd Avenue near 48th Street.
Sentencing will be held on July 17.
Rosborough said the Crown had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Carver caused the collision.
During the trial held in February, the Crown presented evidence to show that Ellison and her four friends were intoxicated as they walked back to the McDonald’s near 48th Street and 52nd Avenue.
However, Rosborough said he rejected evidence from the defence to suggest that Ellison had randomly run out onto the street when she was hit.
“This was not a single figure darting out in dark clothing,” said Rosborough.
Crown witness Justin Van Den Maagdenberg testified that he saw the truck approaching. He said he crossed because he figured that the driver was far enough away and that the area was well lit, plus he was walking within the crosswalk. Ellison, his girlfriend at the time, was walking close behind. He said that the truck was about three-quarters of a block south of 48th Street.
Carver was arrested shortly after. Court evidence showed that Carver was found to have a blood alcohol content of .16.
Ellison emerged from the courthouse to say she was pleased with the verdict.
“I am happy that justice was served,” said Ellison with her mother and Van Den Maagdenberg by her side.
Family told news reporters on Tuesday that for 17 days Ellison was in a coma so they never knew what was going to happen, so it was an agonizing ordeal.
Ellison suffers from chronic pain from the titanium rod placed in her femur. She has other emotional and health issues stemming from that night, but said she has forgiven Carver for what he did. She said she hopes he has learned a lesson.
“Life moves on,” said Ellison.
Van Den Maagdenberg was less forgiving.
“I see the accident in my head almost every day,” said Van Den Maagdenberg. “He could have pleaded guilty. I hope they give him as much as they can (under the law).”
Originally, Carver was charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm, leaving the scene of a collision in which someone suffered bodily harm, and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
At the trial’s outset, Collard said he wasn’t proceeding on those charges but instead would be going ahead with the charge of driving over .08 causing bodily harm. Introduced in the Criminal Code in 2008, that charge hasn’t been used very often, Collard said following Tuesday’s verdict.
“Given the driving patterns (of Carver) and his blood alcohol readings, what he did was not what a reasonable driver would do,” said Collard.