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Lakeshore man found guilty of dangerous driving causing death in 2020 crash

Superior Court Justice Russell Raikes delivered a guilty verdict Tuesday in the trial of a Lakeshore man who stood accused of dangerous driving in connection to a 2020 collision that resulted in two deaths.

Phillip Hayes was found guilty on two counts of dangerous driving causing death in the Jan. 4, 2020 crash

that claimed the lives of Brett Blanford and Diane Salter.

“My client said right from the start that the light was always green and this car came out of nowhere,” said defence lawyer Dan Scott.

The collision happened at the intersection of Lauzon Parkway at Forest Glade Drive.

During his summary, Justice Raikes concluded Hayes was travelling southbound on Lauzon Parkway at a high rate of speed, "in a manner that was dangerous to others."

He stated that the operation of the truck driven by Hayes caused the death of Blandford and Salter without a reasonable doubt before rendering his guilty verdict.

“I was surprised to be honest with you,” Scott said. “Some of the witnesses where he rejected their evidence frankly suggested that the light was green or yellow but it appears Justice Raikes rejected their evidence.”

Scott says the drivers on Lauzon Parkway that Saturday afternoon were driving at about the same rate of speed.

“The assessment of the excessive speed, again, that's his assessment. It just didn't comport with the evidence,” he said.

Justice Raikes told the gallery, "there's no reason for the defendant not to see a Dodge Journey before it was directly in front of him unless he was not paying attention and driving aggressively.”

Scott notes between four and six cars were entering the intersection from Forest Glade Drive and doesn't know if the Journey was the lead car.

“Nobody knows,” he said. “That evidence was never really confirmed one way or the other. Like, it's a very, very confusing case that just from experience just didn't make sense.”

A member of the Blandford family found justice Raikes' summary and verdict to be very thorough, well thought out and fair.

Sentencing submissions will be made on January 17 of next year. Top Stories

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