Mar 05, 2015 - DRIVER CONVICTED OF IMPAIRED DRIVING CAUSING DEATH AND DANGEROUS DRIVING CAUSING DEATH IN CRASH WEST OF LONDON


It happened on a bare patch of straight road near Kerwood.

Glenn Wilson, 48, had just left the family farm on Katesville Rd. on a John Deere tractor. Amanda Stevens, now 35, was leaving a friend’s home down the road.

Minutes later, Wilson’s tractor was hit from behind by Stevens’ pickup. Wilson was killed. Stevens, while being treated by paramedics, kept repeating “I shouldn’t have been drinking.”

More than three years after Wilson died Oct. 11, 2011, Stevens was convicted of impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death.

The case has had a long road through the courts as a judge had to determine if the police probe of the case was flawed.

In a written decision, Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman decided a search warrant used to obtain Stevens’ medical records was “a fishing expedition” for more evidence after Stevens’ only breath sample recorded 77 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood — below the legal limit of 80 mg.

After giving the sample two hours after the crash, Stevens was released from custody with a three-day driving suspension.

No one at the crash scene noticed the usual indications of alcohol consumption on Stevens, even though she admitted to drinking two tallboy cans of beer and a vodka cooler.

Two blood samples were collected from Stevens at hospital. The medical records were seized in a bid to bolster an over-80 mg charge and take “a second kick at the can,” the judge said.

Goodman said the search warrant application for the hospital records was flimsy. He said the evidence wouldn’t be allowed and threw out a count of having more than 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood causing death because Stevens’ rights were violated.

But Goodman said he believed evidence of Crown witnesses that Wilson’s tractor had lights, including a rear white light, plus reflective tape.

He also took into account the evidence of a forensic scientist who said driving can become impaired at a reading of 50 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood and would become more impaired with more alcohol in the system.

Police retrieved data showing Stevens was travelling as fast as 112 km/h in an 80 km/h zone. She braked less than a second before impact.

“The excessive speed of Ms. Stevens’ vehicle was a significant contributing factor to the cause of this fatal motor vehicle collision,” Goodman wrote. “Ms. Stevens should have been aware that her alcohol consumption, excess speed and other driving factors that evening would have compromised her ability to safely drive a motor vehicle.”

Stevens’ sentencing date will be set in May.

Source: London Free Press


Last updated on: 2015-03-07 | Link to this post