Crash trial begins in Cranbrook

Trial underway three years to the day after the death of Jaffray’s Ian Shepherd

A trial has begun in Cranbrook for a Jaffray man charged with criminal negligence over the death of 23-year-old Ian Shepherd in June 2010.

Kyle Neidig, 26, has been charged with criminal negligence causing death, impaired driving causing death, and causing an accident resulting in death, after a motor vehicle incident just outside Cranbrook three years ago.

Neidig’s trial is scheduled for Monday, June 10 to Thursday, June 14, followed by a second week in several months, September 9 to 12.

In her opening remarks about the witness testimony set to be given at the trial, Crown prosecutor Lianna Swanson told Judge Grant Sheard that the two young men, who both lived in Jaffray, came to Cranbrook together on the evening of Thursday, June 10, 2010.

They went to the Mount Baker Hotel, and later to Shotgun Willy’s. Soon after 2 a.m. Friday morning, they left the nightclub and dropped off two female friends in Cranbrook.

At around 2:45 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2010, a commercial truck driver came upon the accident scene on Highway 3/95 just west of the Fort Steele/Fernie interchange.

When the truck driver arrived on the scene, Neidig was out of the vehicle, but there was no sign of Shepherd.

It was almost 30 minutes later that Shepherd’s body was found in the ditch beside the highway’s westbound lane.

The first witness to be called in the trial was Shepherd’s mother, Laurie Shepherd, who was in tears as she talked about her athletic son, who was a part-time bull rider and volunteer firefighter.

Neidig remained composed with his head down as he sat beside his legal counsel Neil Robertson in the courtroom Monday.

The trial continues all week in Cranbrook Provincial Court.