Drunk-driving death accused refused ride: witness
Accused asked witness to lie in a letter, he says
The man accused of driving drunk and killing a woman on a motorcycle refused a ride home from a neighbour, Supreme Court in Charlottetown heard Monday.
Ray Cantelo has pleaded not guilty to several charges in connection with an accident in eastern P.E.I. on Oct. 22, 2011, including impaired driving causing death and failure to remain at the scene of an accident. Crown prosecutor Lisa Goulden said evidence will show that Cantelo was driving a van while impaired and collided with a motorcycle at the intersection of Peakes and St Patricks roads just north of Montague. Stacy Cheverie, a passenger on the motorcycle, died.
Gould also said Cantelo got out of his van at the accident scene, and then got back in his van and left.
The court heard from Roger Nowe, a neighbour of Cantelo's, that Cantelo had been drinking at his house shortly before the accident.
Nowe testified he had been a friend of Cantelo's for eight to 10 years. Nowe said he spoke to Cantelo in his driveway just before he drove away.
Cantelo was a failed Island Party candidate in the Oct. 3, 2011 provincial election, and Nowe said Cantelo was upset by the loss.
"I could smell alcohol. His eyes were not normal," said Nowe.
"How close were you?" asked Goulden.
"Close enough to shake his hand."
"Can you describe his physical condition?"
"He wasn't falling over if that's what you mean."
"What did you do?"
"I offered to take his keys and drive him home," said Nowe.
"He said I'm just going home on a back road."
Nowe said he drove away in the opposite direction just after Cantelo left.
Nowe said after the accident Cantelo asked him to write a letter in his defence saying he had not been drinking. Nowe said he refused because he didn't want to lie.
The trial is expected to run through the week. Goulden said she would be calling two expert witnesses on Wednesday.