Closing statements for Kelowna man charged with impaired driving causing death

Lawyers started closing statements in Cody Richard Wengenmayr's trial Wednesday, following an unexpected two-week hiatus.

  • Oct. 10, 2012 10:00 a.m.

The Kelowna man who’s on trial facing charges related to impaired driving and the death of a six-year-old boy, may soon get a roadmap of his future.

Lawyers started closing statements in Cody Richard Wengenmayr’s  trial Wednesday, following an unexpected two-week hiatus.

Crown Counsel Dave Ruse is contending that the evidence submitted during the trial points to the fact that Wengenmayr was impaired, and that’s why he drove into Trey Alphonse and his mother Iris when they were jay-walking across Harvey Avenue late one night, more than two years ago.

“There’s no doubt that Iris Alphonse put her and her son in harm’s way when she chose to cross the highway,” he said, noting that drivers shouldn’t expect that kind of pedestrian behaviour.

But, he added, there’s an expectation that drivers react accordingly when it’s required, especially if there’s ample time to do so.

Two other drivers on the road that night, for example, testified they saw Iris Alphonse running across the road holding the hand of her son, as he dragged a scooter behind him.

“This is not a case where she struck out in front of traffic from between two parked cars,” he said “In this case, others saw her and Wengenmayr didn’t… His inability to see was because of impairment.”

Ruse went on to highlight evidence that he said showed Wengenmayr was impaired when he took to the road that night.

Although nobody can account for what happened before  Wengenmayr met up with two friends that night, his passenger at the time of the crash said he only remembered seeing his friend drink four to five beers between 5 p.m., and after 8 p.m.

Then, he said, Wengenmayr stopped drinking.

It wasn’t until just after 10 p.m., that Wengenmayr had his fatal encounter with the Alphonses.

He pulled over in a nearby parking lot shortly thereafter and wasn’t witnessed drinking at that point either, although he did have a half-empty beer can in his car.

Ruse then pointed out that Wengenmayr was offered two breathalyzer tests that night that showed he had a higher blood alcohol content than acceptable. The first one was at 12:19 a.m. and the other at 12:39 a.m., both of which were more than two hours after the collision.

The figures collected then, combined with standard equations used to measure the rate of alcohol burn-off indicate that Wengenmayr’s blood alcohol would have been over .11 at the time of impact.

Defence had yet to put forward their closing arguments at the time of press deadline, although they’ve previously questioned the impairment test and subsequent blood alcohol analyses.

In particular, they’ve  noted that Wengenmayr’s blood alcohol level could have been skewed by any number of conditions, among which would be drinking a beer after the crash.

Iris Alphonse , broke her leg in the collision. She has since moved away from Kelowna and has not been seen throughout the trial.

The  trial is scheduled to continue Friday.

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