Impaired driver found guilty in pair of 2016 deaths near Chetwynd

Guilty in fatal head-on crash

Cole Kenneth Archibald MacDonald was found guilty Friday for the impaired driving deaths of a man and woman near Chetwynd in 2016.

Dawson Creek Supreme Court Justice Michael Brundett said the 38-year-old MacDonald was impaired by fentanyl and benzodiazepines when he swerved into oncoming traffic on Highway 97, killing the pair in a head-on collision on June 24, 2016.

“I find that the collision was caused by the accused’s impaired ability to drive,” said Brundett. “I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused’s impaired ability was a deciding factor in these deaths.”

Though RCMP found no pills or alcohol in his vehicle, MacDonald was found stumbling at the scene as if drunk, and later tested positive for the drugs while being treated for minor injuries at the hospital.

MacDonald denied accusations of drinking by RCMP, Brundett noted, and said road and weather conditions were not a factor in the collision.

MacDonald appeared in person for the judgment, and was convicted on two separate charges of impaired driving causing death, one for each victim.

He’ll return to court next month to set a date for sentencing.

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