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Witness claims original statement to RCMP inaccurate due to intoxication

August 20, 2014 - 10:05 AM

KAMLOOPS – On Tuesday morning, the gallery of a Kamloops Supreme courtroom heard differing accounts from two women who claimed to be first on scene at a fatal vehicle accident on March 20, 2010.

Wayne Fedan, born in 1961, is charged with impaired driving causing the deaths of Brittany Plotnikoff, 20, and Ken Craigdallie, 38. Fedan’s truck allegedly rolled near the Woodland trailer park on Mackenzie Avenue. 

Vanessa Baldwin was drinking near the accident scene with her boyfriend Mike Leman on the night of the crash. While delivering evidence on the witness stand, Baldwin said she and Leman both attended the scene where she tried to pry the driver’s side door open.

“It was jammed shut,” said Baldwin. She didn’t recall anyone else at the scene to help.

Baldwin said she stood with the driver of the vehicle who was lying on his back on the pavement. She said he was coherent.

“I was drunk at the time the accident happened,” she said.

Fedan's lawyer, Anthony Varesi, questioned why Baldwin told the RCMP she saw the whole accident take place in front of her eyes. In her first of three statements to police, Baldwin said she saw something dart in front of the truck causing it to swerve and roll.

Baldwin told the court she doesn’t think her first statement was clear because she was drunk.

“I’m saying that most of it does not make sense,” Baldwin said.

Once Baldwin conceded her original statement was inaccurate, Varesi seized on her point.

“So why did you tell the officer (you saw the accident)?” said Varesi.

“I was still rattled and in shock,” said Baldwin.

“So why would you give the officer inaccurate information?” asked Varesi.

“Because I was drunk,” said Baldwin.

Crown prosecutor Bernie Caffaro countered Varesi and said there were additional RCMP statements where Baldwin admitted to inconsistencies in her first discussion with police and asked for the whole of all three statements to be entered as evidence. Justice Deborah Kloegman agreed to include most of all three, save for a portion of Baldwin’s final statement supplied November of 2011.

Trish McNaughton owns a mobile home in the Woodland trailer park and delivered different evidence than Baldwin of the events following the incident. McNaughton also claims to be the first on scene.

“It seemed like a loud explosion,” said McNaughton.

“It shook the whole trailer.”

McNaughton said she went outside to discover a truck scattered all over the road in pieces and said it looked “like a scene out of a horror movie.”

McNaughton said she saw the driver sitting upright with a body laying facedown across his lap. She described the passenger side of the truck as “ripped right off” and noticed a second body near the front passenger tire. This prompted tears from someone seated in the gallery. 

She said the driver appeared conscious. He asked her to retrieve a dog from the mangled truck, which she did – a tiny black puppy. McNaughton said she kept the dog overnight.

Caffaro asked McNaughton if anyone else was present at the scene. She said there was another woman who was “very loud” and tried to move the body spread across the truck’s seats by pulling on the arms and shoulders.

McNaughton said she told the woman to stop. She said the woman tried to pick a fight with her and claimed to know those involved in the accident.

“She was saying ‘oh they deserve what they got,’” McNaughton said.

McNaughton told the court she was never approached by RCMP officers following the incident. She said she was not asked for a statement and was told to move away from the scene. After not receiving a summons to share her evidence, McNaughton said she contacted Crown counsel.

Earlier evidence from the trial included testimony from James Schneider who said he saw the truck driving erratically before the incident, prompting him to dial 9-1-1.

The trial will continue this week.

Blood sample ruled out in voir-dire hearing 
Evidence not detrimental to prosecution, court rules 

To contact a reporter for this story, email gbrothen@infotelnews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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