July 20th, 2024

Man to plead in drunk driving collision that killed young son

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 24, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Brocket man charged in relation to a two-vehicle collision last year that killed his five-year-old child, is expected to enter pleas to his charges later this month and then be sentenced early in the new year.

Ryan Scott Potts had planned to enter pleas Thursday in Lethbridge court of justice, but the matter had to be adjourned so it could be resolved in the jurisdiction from which the charges originated.

Potts, 39, is charged with criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death, impaired driving, impaired driving causing bodily harm, causing death by driving with an alcohol level over the legal limit, driving while prohibited and driving without insurance.

About 9 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2022 Fort Macleod RCMP responded to a collision at the intersection of highways 2 and 3 west of town. A Dodge Caravan driven by Potts was eastbound on Hwy. 3 when it collided with a semi truck and trailer crossing the highway to head south on Hwy. 2.

Potts and his two children, one seven years old and other five, were taken to hospital where the children were treated for serious, life-threatening injuries. The younger boy subsequently died.

Potts, who remains in custody, is scheduled to resolve his charges in court next week, where the Crown will present details of the case to the judge and a Gladue report will be ordered. The matter will then return to court sometime next February for sentencing.

A Gladue report applies certain principles which are used by judges at the time of sentencing to help them understand the unique circumstances and experiences of Indigenous people. Those circumstances include challenges, such as racism, loss of language, removal from land, residential schools and foster care, that continue to affect Indigenous people today.

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