Ex-premier Tobin's son charged in garage death

The son of former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Brian Tobin has been charged after the 24-year-old's friend was run over by a pickup truck in an Ottawa parkade.

John Tobin released on bond after Ottawa incident

The son of former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Brian Tobin has been charged after the 24-year-old's friend was run over by a pickup truck in an Ottawa parkade.

Former N.L. premier Brian Tobin, left, and his wife, Jodean Tobin, right, escort their son, Jack Tobin, out of an Ottawa court following his release on bond. He is charged in the death of a man in a Christmas Eve accident. ((Pawel Dwulit/Canadian Press))

Alex Zolpis, 24, of Ottawa was pinned under a Dodge Ram truck on the 24-hour garage's top floor around 3 a.m. ET. He died minutes after emergency workers arrived.

John (Jack) Tobin has been charged with impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death, as well as driving over the legal limit resulting in a death.

He was taken into custody Friday but released Saturday on a $100,000 bond, and is the only person charged in the case.

Jack Tobin held his head in his hands and sobbed after being released.

Holding tight to one another, his parents faced reporters outside court Saturday and said they were devastated by the accident."It is a tragedy for everybody involved and we can't add more," Brian Tobin said, as his wife, Jodean, cried softly.

Ottawa police spokeswoman Kathy Larouche said alcohol appeared to have been a factor in the accident.

"There were witnesses at the scene, as well as witnesses in the vicinity who heard or saw, so all these people are being interviewed," she said.

Stunt driving problem at garage

In a statement issued by Brian Tobin on Friday, he said his family extended their "deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of Alex Zolpis."

"We cannot begin to describe our profound sadness as Alex and our son, Jack. have been the best of friends for many years. These two young men were very close. Alex's tragic death is devastating for two families," Tobin said.

"We love Jack and will support him as he faces the many difficult days ahead," the statement added.

Gerard Maloney, who works for Vinci Park, the company that runs the garage, was one of the first people to arrive on the scene.

Alexis Zolpis, 24, died after being pinned under a pickup truck on the top floor of this George Street parking garage in Ottawa's ByWard Market area. ((CBC))

"I never expected to see a body," Maloney said.

He said Vinci employs a security firm to patrol the garage, but drugs, drinking and stunt driving have been problems in the past.

"I can't even believe it," said Gabrielle O'Brien, who has sold flowers from a stand across from parking garage for the past 11 years.

"I've heard of no deaths.… I've heard of thefts and drinking and drugging in there, but that's enough."

Jack Tobin, a Dalhousie University graduate, works for the Toronto office of Event Source Security & Investigations.

In 2007, he was stabbed at a party in Halifax while working as a security guard, one of four guards stabbed as they tried to eject a man.

Tobin was hospitalized after the incident.

A 17-year-old boy from Halifax later pleaded guilty to attempted murder and aggravated assault.

With files from The Canadian Press