Coroner: speed & .25 alcohol = death
Nov 4, 2013 / 3:21 pm
The BC Coroner’s office has released findings on two separate accidents causing death in the Okanagan over the past two years.
In the first report: Michael Grant Baxter, 20, was killed when the vehicle he was driving crashed and rolled on Oct. 18, 2012. The accident also killed a female passenger, while two others survived the incident.
It was found that Baxter was drunk and high on marijuana at the time of the crash. His blood alcohol level was 0.25, which according to the report, is “a heavy load of intoxication with alcohol”. Other contributing factors listed were speed, vehicle modifications and the fact that Baxter was not wearing a seatbelt.
The incident happened on Princeton Avenue, a gravel road near the Brenda Mine Road in Peachland.
Baxter had been driving north and was negotiating a curve when he lost control. The vehicle spun around and began to roll, and Baxter was ejected. It was determined that he was travelling between 85-89 kilometres per hour at the time of the crash, slightly above the posted 80 km/h speed limit.
The 1995 Chevrolet pick-up truck he was driving had been fitted with a lift kit and equipped with oversized wheels and tires. Both of these modifications would have raised the vehicles centre of mass, potentially increasing its instability.
The second report dealt with an early morning crash on May 4, 2013 in the Glenmore area of Kelowna.
David Robert Potts, 32, was riding his 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle southbound on Glenmore Road when he crashed into a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier, killing himself and the driver of the car.
An RCMP traffic analyst determined that Potts was traveling between 165-198 km/h when he struck the right side of the car as it attempted to turn onto Mountain Avenue, causing both vehicles to flip over. The posted speed limit in the area was only 50 km/h.
The report also showed that Potts was not wearing a helmet that met safety standards and he had a blood alcohol level of 0.25. The driver of the cavalier had a blood alcohol level considered to be a “moderate level of impairment” and also had cocaine in their system.
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