Judge denies bail for man charged in fatal Behchoko crash

Steven Theriault was arrested in Edmonton on June 2, 41 days after he allegedly fled the scene of a fatal crash near Behchokǫ̀, N.W.T.

Steven Theriault charged after fatal April 22 crash on Highway 3 near Behchokǫ̀

Behchokǫ̀ RCMP believe Steven Theriault was driving a vehicle that crashed on Highway 3 on April 22, killing a woman and injuring two others. (Submitted by RCMP)

The man who's been charged involving a fatal crash near Behchokǫ̀, N.W.T., was denied bail by a N.W.T. judge Tuesday.

Steven Theriault was arrested in Edmonton on June 2, 41 days after he allegedly fled the scene of a fatal accident near Behchokǫ̀ on April 22.

Florriane Rabesca, a young mother of a five-year-old boy from the community, was killed. Police allege Theriault was the driver of the vehicle that crashed on Highway 3, killing Rabesca and injuring two others.

Theriault has been charged with two counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing bodily harm and one count of dangerous operation causing death. He is also charged with operating a vehicle without a driver's licence and failure to stop after an accident causing bodily harm and death.

In court on Tuesday, Justice of the Peace Mark Wharton handed down the decision. 

The information provided by Crown lawyers and Theriault's defence lawyer are protected by a publication ban. 

Theriault is expected to be in court next on Aug. 5. 

Rabesca's family attended court and were all permitted to sit in the courtroom at a distance from one another.

The courts are now permitting the public and media to attend court appearances. They have also created overflow mechanisms to ensure members of the public can sit outside the courtroom and observe proceedings on a television screen, if the court is at capacity.

Last Thursday, Theriault's bail hearing was one of the first court proceedings where the public has been allowed to enter the courtroom since COVID-19 restrictions were introduced. Some of Rabesca's family members attended the hearing. 

"My daughter was very sweet and very kind and she's very warm and she likes to smile and she was always willing to help people," Tony Rabesca said at the time.

With files from Avery Zingel