Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Cyclists Aren't Expected on the Road After September?

A Fredericton man thought he'd killed a cyclist he struck on a dark, wet night last fall, and that's why he left the scene, a prosecutor argued in court Tuesday.
Jonathan Kelly Stockall, 29, of 1690 Woodstock Rd. struck and injured a cyclist the night of Oct. 21, 2010, with his pickup truck.
He didn't stick around after the collision and was charged with leaving the scene of an accident under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act.
Evidence in the case was heard last week, and Stockall and Crown prosecutor Robert Murray were back in court Tuesday to deliver their closing arguments.
During his testimony last week and a police interview the day after the accident, Stockall said he thought he'd struck a deer, not a person.
His truck sustained some damage to the grill and passenger-side signal light, and the passenger-side mirror broke off as a result of the impact.
Murray argued Tuesday that Stockall's story doesn't add up.
"The accused had to know he hit a cyclist," he said, noting the bike had reflectors and there was a taillight.
A motorist who was on the scene at the time of the accident testified he thought he cyclist - who lay motionless in the intersection of St. Mary's Street and Brookside Drive - was dead. He was unconscious.
Stockall testified he slowed down after the impact and saw nothing in his rearview mirror.
Murray argued Stockall saw what the witness saw: a motionless figure he assumed was a dead body, and that's why he took off.
The prosecutor said Stockall only turned himself into police the next day after others noticed the damage to his car and when a friend mentioned there had been a hit-and-run accident in which a cyclist was injured.
Murray said Stockall knew it would only be a matter of time before the police came knocking on his door.
In his argument, Stockall reiterated he thought he'd struck a deer.
He said the cyclist's clothes could have covered the reflectors.
He said given the wet weather and the time of year, it never occurred to him a cyclist would be on the road at the time.
"I have nothing to hide. I've never been in trouble with the law," he said.
He didn't stop to provide assistance or information because he didn't think there had been an accident, he said.
Judge Julian Dickson reserved his decision until Nov. 2.

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