A man who struck a pedestrian with a truck, sending the victim to hospital for months, has been acquitted of a hit and run charge in B.C. Supreme Court.
Shane Davis was facing a charge of failure to stop at the scene of an accident causing bodily harm. If convicted, the maximum penalty under the Canadian Criminal Code is 10 years in prison.
According to the judgment rendered by Justice Robert Jenkins, on the night of March 31, 2015, Davis was driving down 40th Avenue when he struck 62-year-old Darrel Campbell, who was crossing the street to pick up dinner at Ocean Park Pizza in Brookswood.
Campbell was airlifted to hospital with multiple fractures. According to court records, he spent months in hospital.
Davis did not stop at the scene, and instead kept driving even after a collision that produced what one witness in another car called a “great big thump.”
Campbell was flung higher than the hood of the Dodge Ram diesel pickup, and the impact smashed one of the truck’s headlights.
The witness described how the truck’s brake lights briefly came on, but the driver then kept going and rolled through a red light on a right turn onto 200th Street, heading north.
Davis testified that he thought the “nudge” he felt was the brakes on the flatbed trailer his truck was towing. He said he was reaching down to adjust the electric controls for the trailer brakes, located under his truck’s dashboard, at the time of the “nudge.” He also said he had turned up the music in his truck because his son was playing a game on Davis’s cellphone at the time.
He only noticed the broken headlight when he got home, Davis told the court.
A witness quickly led police to the truck after the incident, and Davis was arrested.
Notes from the arresting officer about what Davis said included:
• Don’t treat me bad, I’m normal
• I got scared
• They came out of nowhere
• I was just about to call the cops
• I hit somebody
At issue in the trial was whether Davis actually knew he had struck someone while he was still driving.
In his judgment, Jenkins noted that Davis’s statements were equally plausible for someone who had knowingly driven away from the scene of an accident, and for someone who had discovered the damage after he got home – with the exception of the “They came out of nowhere” remark.
But on balance, the judge found Davis’s testimony credible.
“While I do not necessarily accept all of Mr. Davis’ evidence, I do find it raises a reasonable doubt as to whether he knew he had been in a collision when he drove away from the scene,” the judge wrote.
The charge against Davis was dismissed.