Man on trial for fatal 2018 Central Saanich crash fell asleep driving due to ‘toxic’ cocktail of drugs, Crown argues

WatchProsecution paints Anthony Thomas as a 'regular drug user' who fell asleep at the wheel in the fatal 2018 Central Saanich crash.

After more than two weeks at trial, crown counsel summarized its argument today against the man accused of dangerous and impaired driving in a deadly crash that killed one sister and severely injured the other four years ago.

On Aug. 27, 2018, Kim Ward and her sister Tracy Ward were walking their dogs near their mom’s home when they were hit by a car Thomas was driving. Kim was pronounced dead at the scene. Her dog Finley was also killed. Kim’s sister Tracy suffered a severe brain stem injury, leaving her paralyzed on her left side.

Thomas is pleading not guilty to 6 criminal charges relating to the fatal crash in the judge-alone trial in B.C. Supreme Court.

Crown prosecutor Tim Stokes summarized his argument in a Victoria courtroom today painting Thomas as a regular drug user who voluntarily ingested a cocktail of drugs before falling asleep behind the wheel, and accelerating into two sisters who were walking on a rural Saanich street.

Stokes referred back to the toxicologist report which found a ‘toxic’ cocktail of drugs in his blood: 297 nanograms of methamphetamines, 39 nanograms of amphetamines, and 14 nanograms of alprazolam — a benzodiazepine commonly known as Zanax.

“He ought to have seen these warning signs,” Stokes told the courtroom, arguing there were multiple instances Thomas should have realized he was impaired, and shouldn’t drive. 

RELATED: Driver pleads not guilty to six counts of dangerous impaired driving in fatal 2018 crash

Stokes cited multiple witnesses who say they saw Thomas’s car veer over the centre lane prior to the collision, and a minor fender bender Thomas and a separate car got into at a stop sign just minutes before.

Stokes says despite those signs, Thomas continued to drive and in doing so demonstrates a disregard for others.

Crown also alleges Thomas fell asleep at the wheel as a result of the cocktail of drugs in his system, and not only veered into the in-coming lane then into the two victims but actually accelerated when he did so.

Stokes argued based on police analysis and witness testimony, Thomas’ car was going 76-78 kilometres an hour five seconds before the crash, braking only one and a half seconds before impact.

The Crown also painted Thomas as a regular drug user.

At the scene of the collision, police found he was in possession of two tablets marked as Xanax, but was in fact a new type of highly potent benzodiazepines not currently marketed in Canada.

The defence is expected to make their final submission later in the week.

Kim Ward, above, was killed when a vehicle struck and killed her as she was walking in Central Saanich in 2018. (Photo submitted)

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Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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