On Monday in Cranbrook Law Courts, Justice Grant Sheard ruled a stay of three charges against Kyle Neidig resulting from a car accident causing the death of Ian Shepherd four years ago near Jaffray.
In his decision, Sheard cited three breaches of Neidig’s charter rights after police arrived at an early-morning accident scene on June 11, 2010. He also added that the Chevrolet Blazer involved in the accident had been destroyed, which the defence considered a key piece of evidence in determining exactly who was behind the wheel.
Sheard took particular issue with the destruction of the Blazer, which occurred five months before the start of the trial in 2013. He noted that the Crown has an obligation to preserve evidence, and while the Blazer wasn’t a key part of the Crown’s case, it could have contained key evidence for the defence.
Neidig had been charged with criminal negligence causing death, impaired driving causing death and cause an accident causing death. Shepherd was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.
On the night of the accident, the two came into Cranbrook after playing baseball in Wardner. They made stops at the Mount Baker Hotel and later to Shotgun Willy’s before dropping two female friends in town and heading back out to Jaffray.
At roughly 2:45 a.m., a commercial truck driver came upon the accident scene on Highway 3/95, just west of the Fort Steele/Fernie interchange. Neidig had already exited the vehicle, but there was no sign of Shepherd in the immediate vicinity until he was discovered 30 minutes later.