October 22nd, 2020

Warrant issued for suspect involved in fatal highway collision


By Shurtz, Delon on June 13, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Lethbridge man charged in connection with a fatal car collision last year.

The warrant for Wesley Brian Phillips was issued Friday when the man failed to show up for court. Phillips had, through his lawyer Greg White, been ordered to attend court when he was a no-show for a docket appearance last week. White told court June 5 that he was in contact with his client and would advise him.

White confirmed Friday he had emailed and phoned Phillips and instructed him to turn himself in to police and attend court. When Phillips failed to show up Friday, White was allowed to withdraw as the man’s lawyer.

Crown Prosecutor Michael Fox said the Crown has lost track of the accused because he is not living at the residence at which he had previously been ordered to reside. Fox said one of Phillips’ previous bail conditions was to reside at the northside residence, but the owners, who had not been consulted beforehand, refused to let him stay and police were called to remove him.

Only a few hours later the accused was arrested following a disturbance at a city liquor store, but the bail office released him without dealing with his previous bail condition concerning his living arrangements.

On Friday Fox waited for Phillips to attend court, but when he didn’t Fox requested a warrant for his arrest.

“He’s clearly avoiding us,” Fox said.

Phillips, 36, is charged with failure or refusal to comply with a breath demand resulting from 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, 2019 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.

The 66-year-old female driver, the lone occupant of the Ford, died in the collision. The driver of the VW was taken to Chinook Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Phillips was released from custody shortly after he was charged, then re-arrested in February on outstanding warrants from Airdrie where he faces charges of unlawfully being in a dwelling and failing to comply with a probation order. He was released again in March on $3,000 no-cash bail and ordered to keep the peace, reside at an approved residence, abstain from alcohol and drugs, not possess any weapons, and obey a nightly curfew.

The accused is also charged with mischief over $5,000, assault, failing to comply with previous release conditions, failing to comply with a probation order and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm. Those charges stem from the liquor store disturbance.

Damage to the store was estimated between $5,000 and $10,000.

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