Dozens of people have donated blood for a special drive held to honour the memory of Nick Coates, just as the case involving the man accused of killing him while driving drunk made another step through the courts.

Coates, 27, was on a motorcycle when he collided with a pickup truck on Kenmount Road last August.

On Tuesday, a lawyer for Ronald Thistle, 65, told provincial court his client has chosen to be tried in Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador with a jury.Thistle was charged last summer with impaired driving and impaired driving causing death.

Linda Coates

Linda Coates said her son's death last year has underscored the importance of the local blood supply. (CBC)

A preliminary inquiry on the case will begin on Sept. 8.

Coates' family, which attended Tuesday's court hearing, took part in a blood drive on Monday in Conception Bay South.

Linda Coates said her son received a great deal of blood while doctors were fighting to save his life.

"We can't put no rhyme or reason to any of this none of this," she told CBC News.

"There has to be a purpose. I think maybe this is why this happened, to bring an awareness to this issue, bring awareness to drinking and driving."

About 150 people turned out to donate blood at the clinic.