A night of partying and driving around drinking on rural roads ended in tragedy with the death of a young man, Red Deer court heard on Monday.
Joshua Fraser Ball, 22, of Calgary will be sentenced on June 24 after pleading guilty to drunk driving causing death in provincial court.
A 20-year-old Jasper man died on Feb. 2, 2007, when Ball lost control of his vehicle while crossing railroad tracks on Range Road 12 just north of Hwy 11A about a kilometre east of Sylvan Lake.
Crown prosecutor Jason Snider said Ball, who was driving a 1974 pickup truck, crossed the tracks at 43 km/h, an RCMP collision analyst determined.
Ball entered the ditch, hit the approach and then plowed through some fence posts before the vehicle stopped.
One of shattered posts flew through the front windshield, striking the 20-year-old passenger in the side of the head.
The victim, whose name wasn’t released by police because of the wishes of relatives, died at the scene.
Snider said Ball and the victim and two other men in another vehicle had been partying and drinking until the 4 a.m. crash.
Snider said a police report indicated the minimum level of Ball’s blood-alcohol content was .10.
Ball suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was treated in hospital.
Ball was expected to begin a preliminary hearing on Monday before changing his plea.
Two other charges will be withdrawn at the time of sentencing.
Sentencing was adjourned to allow authorities to prepare a report.