Drunk driving trial nearly wraps up after almost five years in court
Man pronounced guilty of dangerous and impaired driving six years after crash near Rogers Pass
An Alberta man was found guilty Revelstoke court last week in connection with a September 2006 crash in Rogers Pass that destroyed the motor home that was going to be used for Florida governor Jeb Bush’s re-election campaign.
The verdict by Judge Edmund De Walle nearly wraps up a trial that began almost four years ago and fell by the wayside when the accused’s lawyer retired before closing arguments were read.
A few months ago it was brought back up again and returned to Revelstoke court.
All that’s left is the sentencing, which might not happen until the fall, depending on the court’s schedule.
Last Wednesday, July 4, De Walle heard closing arguments in the case, with Melissa Klages representing the accused in court.
The trial concerned a crash that saw a pick-up truck collide with a motor home in Rogers Pass in the late afternoon of Sept. 29, 2006.
The court heard that Adam Mark Ciesielski was attempting to pass a slow-moving vehicle on a long-straight away when the collision occurred. He pulled out across the broken line, into the path of an oncoming motor-home that was being driven to Florida for use in Jeb Bush’s re-election campaign, the court heard.
Ciesieleski swerved to avoid the motor home but wound up scraping the side of it, causing an estimated $147,000 worth of damage.
After the crash, Cieselski and front-seat passenger ate bread buns and threw away the beer cans they were drinking, the court heard. A third passenger was injured. The RCMP officer that attended the scene notice signs of impairment on Ciesielski.
Ciesielski was charged with dangerous driving, impaired driving and driving while over the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08.
Court records indicate Ciesielski made his first appearance in Revelstoke court in October, 2007. The trial began on Sept. 3, 2008 and continued until July 26, 2010, when a date was supposed to be set to wrap up the trail. After that, nothing happened until March 2012 when Ciesielski re-appeared on the court docket.
Last Thursday, July 5, nearly six years after the incident, five years after the accused’s first court appearance and almost four years after his trial started, De Walle read out his judgment and pronounced Ciesielski guilty on all three counts.
De Walle pointed out that Ciesielski was drinking beer while driving and made a deliberate and dangerous attempt to pass.
“In my view that deliberate act on the part of the accused qualifies as dangerous,” De Walle said. “Clearly it wasn’t a case of simple carelessness. This was a case of driving that was deliberate.”
Sentencing will be set for a future date, and prosecutor Bill Hilderman indicated the Crown will be seeking a jail sentence.