Ontario Court of Appeal Orders New Trial in Dangerous Driving Causing Death Case

Martial Laverdure was charged with dangerous driving causing death.  He hit a pedestrian who was leaving a hockey game.  He was driving approximately 60 km/hr in a 50 km/hr zone.  The trial judge found that the driving was dangerous, particularly given the higher than normal volume of pedestrian traffic.  The Court of Appeal agreed with that finding but went on to note that a finding that the driving was dangerous was not sufficient to enter a conviction.  On a charge of dangerous driving, a court must also consider whether the driving constituted amounted to “marked departure” from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe if placed in the circumstances in which the accused found himself.  Mere negligence or carelessness is not enough.  In some cases, the manner of driving will be so egregious that a finding of a marked departure will automatically flow from that evidence.  This was not such a case and, as a result, a new trial was ordered. 

For the full text of the judgment see R. v. Laverdure, 2018 ONCA 614

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