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Driver impaired prior to death: Crown

A Crown lawyer made his closing submissions Wednesday, arguing that a Kelowna man’s impairment led to him striking and killing a six-year-old boy with his car.

The family of 21-year-old Cody Richard Wengenmayr, accused of impaired driving causing the death of Trey Alphonse and impaired driving causing the bodily harm of the boy’s mother, filled one side of a BC Supreme Court public gallery Wednesday as Crown counsel made their closing submissions.

The trial resumed in Kelowna Wednesday after two weeks of adjournment.

“His ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol,” argued Crown prosecutor Dave Ruse.

Wengenmayr is alleged to have consumed at least three to four beers earlier in the day with some friends, but no later than 8 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2010, the night of the accident, after which he then drove to one of the friend’s nearby homes to let the effects of the evening’s drinking wear off. At some point, Wengenmayr and one other friend drove his Honda west through Kelowna from Highway 33 on to Highway 97 just after 10 p.m.

The Crown estimated, based on expert testimony provided by the RCMP, that Wengenmayr’s blood-alcohol content was 114 to 138 milligrams per 100 millilitres. The blood/alcohol limit in BC is 80 milligrams, or .08.

Witnesses testified earlier in the trial about the approximate location and speed of Wengenmayr shortly before and as he struck Trey and his mother, who were jaywalking across Harvey Avenue from the Milestone’s restaurant side of the highway.

“Yes, she crossed six lanes of traffic, but she was there to be seen, and other drivers saw her,” Ruse told the court.

Wengenmayr was allegedly travelling westbound in the middle lane before eventually changing lanes to the curbside HOV lane. Wengenmayr and the passenger were talking and listening to music at a low volume. Just before the crash, the passenger, after looking out the passenger window, turned to the front, saw the Alphonses and yelled, “Look out!”

The Crown argues, based on both civilian and expert testimonies, that Wengenmayr did not brake prior to hitting the Alphonses, even though he had nothing obstructing his view. Judging by the distance Trey travelled after being struck, the Crown says Wengenmayr was travelling in excess of 69-79 km/h.

Wengemayr’s defence council is expected to make submissions Friday, when the trial resumes.

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