Kyle Follett has been found guilty in provincial court of driving without due care and attention in connection with an 2016 accident that resulted in the deaths of two teachers — Shannon Pittman, 40, and Randy Ralph, 52, who died as a result of the injuries they sustained in the crash.
Follett’s white five-tonne truck slammed into the teachers’ SUV at crash scene that happened on the Trans-Canada Highway near Butter Pot Park in April 2016 and involved a number of other vehicles.
Follett had testified that he couldn’t remember the events leading up to the crash. Judge Colin Flynn said Follett’s testimony couldn’t be relied on at all and the conclusion from the evidence suggests Follett had fallen asleep at the wheel.
Flynn noted the testimony of other drivers who were able to stop in time.
Following the verdict, victim impact statements were being given in court.
The sequence of events began with Felicia Pynn and Lee Campbell, who had reportedly broken into a cabin in Deer Park earlier in the day and stolen a TV, an ATV and four helmets. They are said to have loaded the items in the back of a Dodge Ram pickup they were test-driving from a dealership.
Driving at a speed of more than 170 km/h back to St. John’s, the court heard, the truck somehow ended up in the median and the ATV fell out. Motorists, stopped to see if everything was OK. When Ralph, Pittman and driver Dwayne Dalton — who survived the accident — approached in the SUV, Follett’s truck smashed into it from behind, setting off a pile-up.
The charge is an infraction of the Highway Traffic Act.