Case of alleged drunk man charged with killing motorcyclist postponed

Rosie Gillingham
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Plenty of victim’s family, friends in courtroom, but accused was not

The man accused of being drunk behind the wheel when he hit and killed a motorcyclist last summer wasn’t in provincial court in St. John’s again Thursday when his case was called.

A police officer examines a motorcycle involved in a collision Aug. 16 which claimed the life of Nicholas COates near the intersection of Kenmount and Polina Roads in St. John’s. — File photo by Todd Foote/The Telegram

As during the first three times his case came before a judge, Ronald Thistle had his lawyer represent him.

But the 27-year-old man Thistle is accused of killing was well represented.

More than a dozen of Nicholas Coates’ family members and friends lined the seats in Courtroom No. 7 to take in proceedings. Many of them were holding pictures of Coates.

Thistle’s lawyer, Bob Simmonds, and Crown prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre agreed to postpone the case until Jan. 28, as the Crown is waiting on information from lab tests.

“It’s a very complex case,” LeFeuvre told Judge Pamela Goulding.

Thistle — who was released after he was arrested — has yet to appear before a judge because Simmonds filed a designation, meaning he can appear on his client’s behalf.

Thistle lives in the Kilbride area of St. John’s and is charged with impaired driving causing death and having a blood alcohol level over the legal amount, causing death.

The 65-year-old was arrested after a motor vehicle collision on 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 Coates’ eastbound motorcycle to crash into the side of Thistle’s truck.

Coates was rushed to hospital, but later died from his injuries.

Coates’ family members and friends declined requests for an interview after court proceedings.

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Geographic location: Kilbride, Polina Road, Kenmount Road

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