The court heard more evidence this week during the trial for a man who is accused of impaired driving in a collision that killed three young men near Beaumont. 

Among those details is that the vehicle Pratt was allegedly driving was travelling at nearly 200 kilometres per hour at the time of the collision and was found almost 180 metres from the collision scene.

Johnathan Pratt is charged with three counts each of impaired driving causing death, driving with a blood-alcohol content over .08 causing death and manslaughter.

Bradley Arsenault, 18, Thaddeus Lake, 22 and Kole Novak, 18 were killed on Highway 625 on Nov. 26, 2011 when the car they were driving was allegedly struck by the one Pratt was driving. 

In the second week of the trial, the court heard that Pratt told an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) attendant that he was driving one of the vehicles involved in the collision. 

Pratt’s lawyer, Timothy Dunlap, had previously questioned whether police had fair and reasonable grounds to obtain blood from the hospital Pratt was staying at because this information had come from an EMS attendant and not the police’s internal investigation.

The judge is expected to rule if that admission is admissible on Friday. 

The court heard from RCMP collision re-constructionist Cpl. Ken Alexander, who testified that the black box in Pratt’s 2011 Dodge 3500 Ram recorded 199 kilometres per hour at the time of the collision. 

Alexander’s report noted that while there could be some discrepancy, the vehicle would have had to be travelling at least 174 kilometres per hour to have caused the damage that it allegedly did. 

He said the truck slammed the rear of a Pontiac Grand Am and went right through the vehicle. It ‘skateboarded’ on top of the Grand Am for 25.2 metres and was later found 177.4 metres from impact. 

The Grand Am had been travelling the speed limit, which was 70 kilometres per hour. 

Acceleration of the Dodge Ram was said to be “to the floor” with no variation. 

The brakes of the Dodge Ram were never applied before or during the collision, but only after, which could have been a result of the sheer velocity from the collision. 

A report showed that Pratt’s blood alcohol concentration was somewhere between 0.2 and 0.244 at the time of the collision, which is nearly three times the legal limit. 

It was another difficult day in court for Bradley’s mother, Sheri Arsenault.

“My son Brad was killed in .04 of a second and had to be identified by dental records,” she said. “I don’t have to tell you how horrific and hard it was to hear all this, then to try to comprehend the not-guilty pleas.”

She said she wanted to thank EMS, RCMP, STARS Air Ambulance and witnesses on the stand for providing evidence to the best of their ability.

“It is hard to believe and many of them needed immediate counselling after coming upon what was left of the Grand Am, Brad, Kole and Thad,” she said. 

“I still cannot believe it, but the facts came out today and they are hard to comprehend.”

The defence and Crown are expected to argue what information should be allowed as evidence on Monday. The trial could finish next week. It’s not known whether Pratt will testify. 

Source: The Beaumont News


Last updated on: 2014-05-11 | Link to this post