Man charged with impaired driving causing death in St. John’s banned from driving while case being heard

Rosie Mullaley
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The man accused of hitting and killing a motorcyclist three months ago will be banned from driving for however long it takes to deal with his case.

Terri-lee Coates poses with a car that belonged to her brother, Nick Coates. The car was fixed up for the show by Nick’s friends. — Photo by Wendy Rose/Special to The Telegram

When the case of Ronald Thistle, 65, was called in provincial court in St. John’s today, defence lawyer Bob Simmonds told the court they would not be opposing the Crown's application for the driving ban.

When the case was in court last month, prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre had indicated the Crown would be filing an application to change Thistle’s release conditions to reflect that.

Thistle, who was not in court today, has been charged with impaired driving causing death and having a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit causing death.

Under the law, when someone is charged with these type of offences, a person can have their driving privileges back after 90 days but lose them again if convicted of the charges.

However, LeFeuvre wanted the 90-day period extended.

Thistle is now banned from consuming alcohol and was ordered not to drive.

The case is due back in court Dec. 5.

Thistle, who lives in the Kilbride area of St. John's, was arrested as a result of a motor vehicle collision Aug. 16 in the capital city.

Thistle was said to have been driving a pickup when he pulled out of Polina Road onto Kenmount Road, causing an east-bound motorcycle to crash into the side of Thistle's truck.

The motorcycle driver, 27-year-old Nicholas Coates, was rushed to hospital, but later died from his injuries.

A number of Coates’ family members were in court today.



Geographic location: Kilbride, St. John's, Polina Road Kenmount Road

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Recent comments

  • david
    November 14, 2013 - 13:27

    Dear Telegram: Might I suggest that in future, you publish all stories like this one under sny one of the "Lifestyle", "Community Events" or "Sports" section? After all, those are all much more accurate descriptions of what drunk driving is in this province.

  • Roberts
    November 14, 2013 - 12:14

    WOW! That's one law that needs to be changed. The court process is so slow... driving privileges should be revoked indefinitely. Imagine if this guy was allowed back on the roads after 90 days. If justice is served, he will never ever be allowed to drive again! And I don't understand why this guy is out on bail and doesn't have to appear in court and the other guy up for killing somebody while impaired is in custody. Seems like special privileges to me! They should both be locked up.. .and while they're at it, throw away the keys!!

  • Whatthe
    November 14, 2013 - 10:00

    I do not understand for the life of me why Mr. Thistle is not being made to appear in court. I feel personally that he needs to look in the eyes of Mr. Coates' family... and that this is LONG overdue.