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Man charged in connection with fatal snowmobile accident near Humber Valley Resort elects trial by judge and jury

Scales of justice.
Scales of justice. - SaltWire Network

The lawyer representing a Conception Bay South man charged in relation to a fatal snowmobile accident near Humber Valley Resort in February 2017 had been hoping to view a video that is part of the evidence in the case before proceeding with the matter.

Thomas Whittle, 27, was charged in March with four offences stemming from the accident that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Justyn Pollard.

Whittle is alleged to have been impaired by drugs and alcohol when the snowmobile he was driving struck a taxi on the road leading to the resort.

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He’s charged with impaired operation of a vehicle causing death, impaired operation of vehicle causing death by exceeding 80 mg, dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death and impaired driving causing death

It had originally been reported that Pollard had been the driver of the snowmobile.

Whittle wasn’t present in provincial court in Corner Brook when his matters were called on Tuesday morning. His lawyer, Erin Breen, appeared on his behalf via teleconference.

Breen told the court she has receive some disclosure in the case, but had not seen the video and wished to do so before making an election on her client’s behalf.

However, Crown attorney Adam Sparkes said it was the Crown’s position that significant disclosure had been made to advance the matter and any request for postponement be attributed to the defence.

Breen said during a previous appearance that Crown agreed that she should have the video.

But with the change in position, she would go ahead and elect trial by judge and jury in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador with a preliminary inquiry.

When Judge Kymil Howe asked how much time was needed to prepare the standard notices and lists of witnesses in relation for the preliminary inquiry, Breen said that depends on the video, which was essential for her to prepare for the preliminary inquiry.

The source or contents of the video were not described in court, but Sparkes said it was

described in the disclosure, which included still shots which capture the essence of the video.

The matter will be called again on June 5 to set a date for the preliminary inquiry.

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