October 23rd, 2020

Police charge man in fatal pedestrian collision


By Shurtz, Delon on May 15, 2020.

Herald file photo by Ian Martens - Police work at the scene along Whoop-Up Drive last month where a 10-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle and later died in hospital. @IMartensHerald

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 52-year-old Lethbridge man has been charged with careless driving following a collision last month that claimed the life of a 10-year-old boy.

Neil Martin Skjodt is charged under the Traffic Safety Act, which allows for a maximum fine of $2,000 or six months in jail, or both.

Sgt. Kevin Talbot of the Lethbridge Police Service traffic response unit said Thursday police investigators chose to charge Skjodt under the TSA rather than the Criminal Code because there was no criminality involved in the unfortunate incident.

“It certainly wasn’t an intentional act,” Talbot said. “There’s no evidence to support he was impaired by alcohol or drugs.”

At about 3:30 p.m. April 13 police responded to a pedestrian collision at the intersection of Whoop-Up Drive and Aquitania Boulevard West. A large SUV travelling south on Aquitania Boulevard turned west onto Whoop-Up Drive and struck two young boys crossing in the crosswalk with their father. The father was not injured, but a nine-year-old boy sustained minor injuries and a 10-year-old boy suffered life-threatening injuries. The older boy died after being taken to the hospital.

Talbot said the charge of careless driving normally attracts a specified penalty, but because of the serious nature and consequences of the pedestrian collision, Skjodt must appear in court. His first hearing is set for Aug. 11.

In addition to the fine or possible jail sentence, the accused could also have his operator’s licence suspended.

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