Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Guilty pleas end driver's trial

Head-on collision killed 53-year-old

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A young Winnipeg man has pleaded guilty to impaired- and dangerous-driving charges stemming from an accident that claimed a motorist's life on Dugald Road.

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

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.

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

Witnesses testified Hansell admitted to texting at the wheel when he swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting cars that were 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 as his lawyers were in the process of challenging blood evidence Winnipeg police seized in the case from Health Sciences Centre.

Sentencing was adjourned until November.

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

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 17, 2014 A14

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