Johnathan Pratt, the man accused of impaired driving in a crash that killed three people near Beaumont, Alta., in 2011, has been found guilty of three counts of manslaughter and impaired driving causing death. 

The families of the victims applauded softly as Judge Paul Belzil read his decision in court in Wetaskiwin. Pratt showed no emotion and stared straight ahead, while his girlfriend bent over in her seat holding her stomach. 

Friends and family of the three young men killed in the crash near Beaumont file into the Wetaskiwin courthouse Thursday to hear the decision in the trial of Johnathan Pratt

Pratt, 30, admitted to being the owner of the pickup truck that smashed into a Grand Am, killing Bradley Arsenault, 18, Thaddeus Lake, 22 and Kole Novak, 18, early on Nov. 26, 2011.

However, Pratt’s lawyer suggested that someone else was behind the wheel of the truck and Pratt was in the passenger seat. When police arrived at the scene, Pratt was beneath the truck.

A collision reconstructionist from the RCMP testified that the pickup had been travelling at 199 km/hr just before it struck the car.

A lab report presented as evidence in court says that Pratt’s blood alcohol concentration was estimated between 0.2 and 0.244 at the time of the collision, nearly three times the legal limit. 

Pratt says he thinks about crash every day

On exiting the courthouse after being convicted, Pratt still refused to admit that he was driving the truck the night of the crash. 

He called the incident "the worst thing that could ever happen" and said that he thinks about it every day. He told CBC News that it "affects every part of my life."

Pratt said he had reached out to the families of the three victims, but would not discuss what he said. 

He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 1.

Source: CBC News Edmonton


Last updated on: 2014-05-15 | Link to this post