Driver pleads not guilty in fatal 2018 Central Saanich crash

Driver pleads not guilty in fatal 2018 Central Saanich crash
Anthony Thomas, 30, makes his way into a Victoria courthouse as a trial for a fatal 2018 Central Saanich crash gets underway. Jan. 17, 2022.

Thirty-year-old Anthony Thomas made his way into a Victoria courtroom Monday afternoon, facing six criminal charges including impaired driving causing death, related to a Central Saanich crash that happened nearly four years ago.

On an early evening in August of 2018, 51-year-old Kim Ward and her sister 48-year-old sister Tracy Ward were walking their dogs near their mother’s home on Central Saanich Road when they were struck from behind by an SUV that crossed the centre line.

“We know the driver crossed over the centre line and struck these pedestrians who were on the side of the road, why that happened, that’s exactly what we’re here to find out,” said Les Sylven, Central Saanich Police Chief, back in 2018.

Kim was pronounced dead at the scene. Her dog Finley was also killed. Her sister Tracy was sent to hospital in critical condition.

Thomas has pleaded not guilty to six charges related to the crash, ranging from dangerous driving to impaired driving causing accident, death, and/or bodily harm.

Prosecutors say they’ll be bringing more than 30 witnesses to the stand to prove that Thomas was speeding and impaired when he hit and killed Kim Ward.

After the crash, Thomas was taken to Victoria General Hospital to get checked out, and nurses carried out a blood test.

Central Saanich obtained a search warrant for the blood, and on Monday several lab analysts detailed their process of transporting and testing the blood, which the Crown says was found to have meth and benzodiazepine in it.

In the coming days, Crown counsel plans to bring forward a police collision analyst who says the car was travelling in excess of 75 kilometres an hour on a 50 km/h stretch of road.

The trial is expected to last several weeks.

This article previously incorrectly stated April 2018 as the date of the crash, which is in fact August.

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Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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