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Kamloops News

Witness describes truck driving erratically the night two passengers died

Kamloops Law Courts

KAMLOOPS – Tailgating, highbeaming and lane changing is how James Schneider, the first witness called in a dangerous driving causing death trial in Kamloops Supreme Court, described a truck’s driving patterns the night two people died in a single vehicle crash. 

Wayne Fedan, born 1961, is charged with dangerous and impaired driving causing the deaths of Brittany Plotnikoff, 20, and Ken Craigdallie, 38 on March 20, 2010 after allegedly rolling a truck killing both his passengers.

Following a voir dire – a trial within a trial to determine if evidence is admissible – Justice Deborah Kloegman decided Crown prosecutor Bernie Caffaro would not be allowed to use Fedan’s blood sample taken at the hospital that night as evidence. The reason for her decision was because the RCMP member who attended the scene failed to inform Fedan of his right to counsel.

In his evidence, Schneider said he was coming home from work that night when a black pickup tailgated his Jeep.

“(It was) close enough that I couldn’t see his headlights anymore,” Schneider said.

Schneider noticed the driver of the truck flip the high beams on and off, changing lanes and driving up to 70 kilometres per hour down Tranquille Road. The truck turned right onto 12 Street, where a pedestrian was crossing. Schneider said he saw the pedestrian jump back and noticed the driver of the truck did not react to the pedestrian.

“He would have been hit if he didn’t move,” said Schneider. That’s when he decided to call 911.

The operator asked Schneider to follow the truck, where he last saw it enter the Curves parking lot on Lethbridge Avenue.

Schneider said he saw two people get out of the truck as he drove past before going home.

Caffaro plans to call on other witnesses Monday afternoon. Anthony Varesi, Fedan’s lawyer, confirmed outside of court there are plans to hear testimony from agency members who attended the accident scene and from those who spent time with Fedan before the incident.

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.

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