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Winnipeg man pleads guilty to dangerous driving charges

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A young Winnipeg man has pleaded guilty to impaired and dangerous driving that claimed a fellow motorist's life on Dugald Road.

Vann Hansell, 22, elected to scuttle his trial Friday and enter guilty pleas to two offences, defence lawyer Sheldon Pinx confirmed to the Free Press.

Hansell admitted to dangerous driving causing the death of Mark Derry, 53, on the evening of Sept. 6, 2011 along with a count of driving over the legal blood-alcohol limit of .08 causing death.

His Court of Queen's Bench trial was in its fifth day when he elected to plead guilty.

Witnesses told court Hansell admitted to texting at the wheel when he swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting cars stopped in his lane for a city crew working in the area of Dugald and Goodyear Avenue.

He hit Derry's vehicle nearly head-on.

Derry suffered critical injuries from which he died in hospital a few hours later.

Hospital records shown in court showed Hansell had an amount of ethanol in his blood.

A city paramedic testified she smelled a faint odour of alcohol on his breath when assessing him at the scene of the crash.

Hansell's admission of responsibility came just as his lawyers were in the middle of challenging blood evidence Winnipeg police seized in the case from the Health Sciences Centre.

Sentencing was adjourned until November.

Hansell has no criminal record. He remains free on bail.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

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