Evidence challenged in Beaumont triple-fatal drunk driving crash
Jonathan Pratt faces charges in the deaths of three young men in a 2011 car accident
The lawyer representing a man accused of drunk driving and killing three young men continued to challenge evidence against his client in a Wetaskiwin courtroom on Tuesday.
Jonathan Pratt faces three counts each of impaired driving causing death, driving with a blood-alcohol content over .08 causing death and manslaughter in the deaths of Bradley Arsenault, 18, Thaddeus Lake, 22 and Kole Novak, 18.
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Arsenault, Novak and Lake were killed Nov. 26, 2011 when their car rolled on Highway 625 south of Beaumont after it was struck by a pickup truck.
Defence lawyer Timothy Dunlop argued that although an EMS attendant told the RCMP the accused smelled of alcohol and admitted to her that he was driving the pickup, police had no right to access blood taken from Pratt by staff at the University of Alberta hospital.
“My argument… to the judge was that with that information it wasn’t enough because there was no indication as to who had caused the accident at that point,” said Dunlop outside the courthouse.
“I want to make it clear that the Criminal Code states when you’re taking bodily substances from a person, the code provisions have to be strictly enforced because it’s so incriminatory and it’s a violation of someone’s integrity,” said Dunlop.
It’s an argument one parent of the deceased finds extremely difficult to listen to, especially after waiting two-and-a-half years for the trial to begin.
“It’s basically just trying to do anything they can do to throw a wrench in the works because the evidence is very strong and very clear,” said Zane Novak.
Photos of the three deceased with the words “Forever Young” were placed at the front of the public gallery, while lawyers continued to argue over constitutional issues.
“There isn’t a moment of your day that whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re involved in, isn’t affected by Kole and the other boys,” said Novak. “It’s indescribable.”
Pratt pleaded not guilty on Monday at the start of his trial.
“There’s no clear closure with this,” said Novak. “It will go on for the rest of our lives.”