Dis­qual­i­fied driver

Twenty-six-year-old Syd­ney man charged in fa­tal hit and run

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

A man with a his­tory of driv­ing while pro­hib­ited is back be­hind bars, charged in con­nec­tion with a fa­tal hit and run in March that claimed the life of a 54-year-old man.

Thomas Joseph Smith, 26, of Townsend Street, is charged with fail­ing to stop at the scene of an ac­ci­dent, dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing death, crim­i­nal neg­li­gence caus­ing death by tex­ting while driv­ing and driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied.

Smith was ar­rested Fri­day af­ter be­ing re­leased from jail where he was serv­ing time for vi­o­lat­ing his fed­eral pa­role.

Af­ter a brief pro­vin­cial court ap­pear­ance Mon­day, Smith was re­manded and is to re­turn to court Thurs­day for a bail hear­ing. While on re­mand, he was or­dered to have no con­tact with 33 named in­di­vid­u­als.

RCMP also re­ported Mon­day that two other in­di­vid­u­als have also been charged in con­nec­tion with the case. The pair, who have not been iden­ti­fied, are charged with be­ing an ac­ces­sory af­ter the fact. They were re­leased on con­di­tions.

A spokesper­son for the RCMP said fur­ther ar­rests are ex­pected later this week.

The charges stem from the tragic death of 54-year-old Jackie Deveau of Cheti­camp who po­lice said died March 11 af­ter be­ing struck by a ve­hi­cle on High­way 125 near the Mira Road exit.

At the time he was struck, po­lice said Deveau was flag­ging mo­torists for help near the exit. In­ves­ti­ga­tors fo­cused their at­ten­tion on the driver of a grey Volk­swa­gen with dam­age on its front and pas­sen­ger side.

Ac­cord­ing to fam­ily mem­bers, two days prior to his death, Deveau vol­un­tar­ily signed him­self into the men­tal health unit of the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Hospi­tal.

His sis­ter, Ida LeLievre, ex­plained her brother, who served with the Royal Cana­dian Air Force for 35 years, suf­fered from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der. He was di­ag­nosed shortly af­ter work­ing on re­cov­ery ef­forts of Swis­sair Flight 111 that crashed near Peggy’s Cove in 1998.

In speak­ing to re­porters Mon­day, LeLievre said the charges are “bittersweet” but the fam­ily will con­tinue to fo­cus on the pos­i­tive, thanks largely to a groundswell of pub­lic sup­port.

“It has been amaz­ing the sup­port we have re­ceived from around the world,” said LeLievre.

She de­scribed her brother as be­ing a fair and just man and the fam­ily now puts its con­fi­dence in the jus­tice sys­tem to en­sure jus­tice for Deveau.

Pros­e­cu­tor Shane Rus­sell said RCMP con­tinue to work their in­ves­ti­ga­tion and were aided greatly by pub­lic tips.

He said the Crown will con­tinue to op­pose any re­lease for Smith.

In 2015, Smith was sen­tenced to two years and 79 days on charges of dan­ger­ous driv­ing, im­paired (by a drug) driv­ing, evad­ing po­lice, pos­ses­sion of mar­i­juana, pos­ses­sion for the pur­pose of traf­fick­ing, four counts of breach­ing court or­ders and driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied.

He has recorded at least prior five con­vic­tions for driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied be­gin­ning in 2012.





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