(Advocate file photo)

Trial set for man accused of leaving scene of 2018 fatal collision in Red Deer

Pedestrian was hit as he stood near parked vehicle in March 2018

A seven-day jury trial has been set for 2022 for a Saskatchewan man accused of leaving the scene after a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run collision in Red Deer in 2018.

Darren Nickolson, who was 38, was standing near a parked vehicle near 52nd Avenue and 76th Street on the night of March 11, 2018 when he was hit by a truck.

The older-model vehicle was found in early April.

Red Deer RCMP arrested Tosh Verstraeten, then-29, in Nipawin, Sask. after a lengthy investigation involving multiple interviews, collection of evidence and tips from the public.

Verstraeten is charged with one count of failing to remain at the scene of a collision in which a person dies. The trial is scheduled for Sept. 19-27, 2022.

A separate court date was to be set for Verstraeten’s defence lawyer to argue the case against his client should be dropped because it did not get to trial in a reasonable time, which is known as a Jordan application.

Chief Crown prosecutor Dominique Mathurin said the Jordan date for Verstraeten’s case is at the end of January 2022.

Under a 2016 Supreme Court of Canada decision, a deadline of 18 months has been set for a case to go from charge to trial in most provincial court cases and 30 months in higher courts. In what is known as the Jordan decision, the country’s top court calls for dismissal of cases that have been subject to unreasonable delays.

In making a Jordan decision, judges review why a case took as long as it did to reach trial and how much of that delay should be attributed to the prosecution and how much to the defence.

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