Verdict in fatal 2015 collision to be handed down Tuesday

A Kelowna man on trial for dangerous driving causing death will find out his fate next week.

28-year-old Trevor Richard Stocks pleaded not-guilty in the 2015 motor vehicle accident that killed 21-year-old Joselyn Casavant.

The defence and crown gave their closing submissions today, but Justice Burdett will not have a decision until Tuesday.

Casavant was driving eastbound on McCurdy Road near Morrison Road on May 22, 2015, when Stocks, driving westbound, drove over the centre lane and collided with her car. She died at the scene.

During his closing argument, Crown prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys pointed to a report by RCMP crash analyst Sergeant Nightingale that finds Stocks entered the eastbound lane during a curve in the road while he was going between 65 to 74 km/hr. The speed limit in the area is 50 km/hr. According to the report, Casavant’s car was either slowing down or stopped at the time of the collision, suggesting she saw Stocks in her lane.

Vandersluys argued several witnesses, who arrived at the scene right after the crash, testified that Stocks had told them he might have been driving too fast and spun out.

Defence counsel Grant Gray said while there is no doubt Stocks is civilly responsible for the collision, he argued it falls short of criminality. He said Nightingale’s report is based on assumptions and perceptions, and that no one knows for sure how fast the two cars were going.

Gray said Stocks was in a state of shock shortly after the accident and what he said to witnesses after the crash should not be taken into account. He also argued that the motorist who was driving in front of Casavant at the time of the accident gave unreliable testimony as she gave differing accounts of time of distance that night.   

After the trial wrapped up today, Casavant's brother-in-law Anthony Kuchma said the family is looking forward to the trial being over.

“We really just want this to be behind us, move forward,” he said “we want to see justice served here and we’ll wait until Tuesday to see what happens”.