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Oakville man pleads guilty to impaired driving, dangerous driving in 2020 pedestrian deathSEDI News

Nearly two years after Louise Whitten, 51, and her beloved dog Zach were killed while they were out for an afternoon walk near their Oakville, Ont., home, a man is on trial for impaired driving causing death by drugs and dangerous driving. Both have been found guilty of the crime.

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Madam Justice Anne-Marie Kalsavara, who presided over the eight-day trial, rejected Hyde’s defense that he had a medical condition known as “syncope” which was induced by coughing, causing him to lose consciousness momentarily before the fatal accident. .

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“I find, based on all the evidence, that Mr. Hyde’s foot came off the pedal and then came back on. A split second before impact, the steering wheel was turned to the left. Empathize with the moment Mr Hyde took his foot off the gas pedal,” said Kalasavara. “Based on all the evidence, I think Mr. Hyde turned the steering wheel,” she said, noting that if Hyde had been unconscious, he wouldn’t have been able to turn the wheel.

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On December 3, 2020, just after 2 p.m., Whitten and her dog were struck from behind while walking on a dirt road along Lakeshore Boulevard in Oakville. The Nissan Sentra driven by Hyde was traveling at approximately 90 km/h in a 50 km/h zone. The car, which was traveling east, left the road and hit the pathway, traveling 58 metres, running over Whitten and his dog, striking a bell utility box before hitting a concrete pillar at 65 km/h, causing the car to redirect in the opposite direction. . the direction

Hyde was arrested and charged with impaired driving at the scene after an officer smelled alcohol on his breath. The court also heard that after Hyde got out of his car, he returned to it, opened it and closed the trunk. Police later found beer cans, some of which were empty, and a bag containing 10.6 grams of marijuana. A civilian witness later uttered Hyde’s words, “I think I’m sick.”

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Hyde, who was taken to the police station to report, had a blood alcohol content of zero, but a drug recognition expert who performed a walk and turn test on the 58-year-old testified that Hyde was under the influence of cannabis.

Hyde testified at trial that he had two cans of beer at lunch but said he had no recollection of leaving the road or hitting Whitten that day. He also denied consuming marijuana that day, but admitted to smoking half a joint the night before. On the stand, he testified that he suffered from cough-induced syncope, which he experienced twice in 2013.

Kalsavara called Hyde “a poor witness” who she found unreliable and would have said anything to limit his criminal responsibility. Kalasavara noted that according to Hyde, December 3, 2020 was the most significant syncope episode of his life but still refused to go to the hospital. The following evening, he sought medical attention to check his ribs.

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“In my view, Mr. Hyde’s testimony was neither plausible nor credible. I have used those findings only to refute his evidence,” said Kalasavara. “Drug impairment was a factor and this impairment was the cause of the dangerous driving.”

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Louis Whitten’s widower Ching Mak said he was relieved by the guilty verdicts. “It’s unbelievable that someone would do that and drag it out for almost two years, it doesn’t help our family at all to move on or get closure. It’s just been a very frustrating experience. Just hearing all the lies,” Mack told Global News after the verdict.

Whitten’s sister-in-law Sudan Cashin said the family was nervous about the verdict. “It could have gone either way and the burden of proof was very high on the Crown. We were very happy with this verdict. We were very relieved. It’s been a long time coming through and it was extremely difficult to sit in court knowing that it was a defense that we felt was self-serving and designed to avoid going to jail,” Cashin said.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for February. Hyde remains out on bail.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Chorus Entertainment Inc.

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