Nova Scotia

Accused in fatal Cape Breton hit and run pleads guilty to obstruction

Colin Hugh Tweedie pleaded guilty Wednesday to obstruction in the death of 10-year-old Talia Forrest. He still faces charges including impaired driving causing death.

Colin Hugh Tweedie still faces charges including impaired driving causing death

Talia Forrest, 10, died in July 2019 after being struck by a vehicle while she was riding her bicycle on Black Road in rural Cape Breton. (GoFundMe)

The man accused in a fatal 2019 Cape Breton hit and run has changed one of his four pleas to guilty.

Colin Hugh Tweedie pleaded guilty Wednesday to obstruction in the death of 10-year-old Talia Forrest, who was struck by an SUV while out for a bike ride on Black Rock Road in the rural community of Big Bras d'Or.

Tweedie's plea came on the second day of his trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Sydney.

He still faces charges including impaired driving causing death and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

The obstruction charge was laid after Tweedie was accused of lying to police that he was not driving his vehicle the day Forrest was hit. He told police his girlfriend was the one driving.

On the night of the crash, police noted Tweedie smelled of alcohol and was not speaking clearly to officers.

Beer bottles photographed in vehicle

On Wednesday, RCMP officer Jennifer Klip testified about photos she took on the night of the July 11, 2019, crash. The photos showed heavy damage to the front of Tweedie's Nissan Xterra.

Klip's photos included several loose beer cans and bottles in the SUV. There was also a cooler in the trunk with multiple beer in it.

Klip said there was blood on parts of the vehicle that matched Forrest's blood. There was also pink and white paint, which were the same colours of Forrest's bike.

Tuesday testimony

A 14-year-old friend of Forrest's — who was with her when she was hit by the SUV — testified Tuesday they were out for a bike ride when they saw a vehicle swerving on the road.

CBC News is not naming the witness because of her age.

The girl said she and Forrest were waiting on the side of the road for the vehicle to pass, and then Forrest was struck.

"I wanted to help her so bad," the friend said.

Forrest died from her injuries in hospital.

The Crown presented evidence that included video from Clayton Devoe, who lives near the site of the collision. The man got choked up as he recalled that evening. He said the road was full of potholes at the time.

Trial expected to last another 8 days

Another witness, Andrew Maclean, testified he saw two young girls riding their bicycles on a rural road shortly before the collision. The witness said he was driving and allowed two girls to pass in front of his vehicle before turning up his driveway.

Eight more days have been set aside for the judge-alone trial. The Crown is expected to call a collision reconstructionist later in the week.


With files from Matthew Moore