January 17th, 2021

Man charged in fatal crash to seek bail Tuesday

By Shurtz, Delon on February 15, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald


A Lethbridge man charged last year in connection with a fatal collision at the infamous intersection of Highway 3 and the Town of Coalhurst remains in custody, but possibly not for long.

Wesley Brian Phillips had hoped to have a bail hearing Friday when he appeared in Lethbridge provincial court, but the hearing was adjourned to Tuesday to give the Crown time to prepare its arguments against Phillips’ release.

Crown prosecutor Bruce Ainscough requested the adjournment based on a section of the Criminal Code, which allows a judge to adjourn proceedings and remand the accused for no longer than three days, even if the accused does not want to wait.

“He would certainly like it sooner rather than later,” duty counsel Brett Carlson told the judge.

Phillips was released on bail soon after he was arrested in November following the collision, but he was recently arrested again on outstanding warrants from Airdrie, court was told. Ainscough said the Crown is opposed to Phillips’ release, and in addition to the bail hearing scheduled for Tuesday for the new charges, he plans to run a bail revocation hearing on Phillips’ charges relating to the collision.

On that matter, Phillips, 36, is charged with failure or refusal to comply with a breath demand resulting in a collision causing death, impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, and failure to comply with a probation order.

The charges stem from a collision about 7:15 p.m. Nov. 25 when a white VW Jetta westbound on Highway 3 collided with a red Ford Escape that was stopped at a stop sign on 51 Avenue in the town of Coalhurst where it intersects with the highway.

Police said the 66-year-old female driver and lone occupant of the Ford was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision. The driver of the VW was taken to Chinook Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The intersection with Coalhurst has been the site of numerous collisions and fatalities over the years, which has prompted the town to contact the province on numerous occasions to petition for highway upgrades to improve safety. Coalhurst Mayor Dennis Cassie has suggested there would be fewer collisions, injuries and deaths if highway speed was reduced and traffic lights installed at the intersection.

Police said speed and alcohol were factors in the fatal collision last November.

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