UPDATE: 11 A.M.
A Kelowna man has been found guilty of dangerous driving causing death following a 2015 crash that claimed the life of a 21-year-old woman.
Judge Ellen Burdett ruled Trevor Stocks, 28, guilty for his role in causing an accident on McCurdy Road, east of Morrison Road, that caused the death of Joselyn Casavant.
Stocks had pleaded not guilty to the dangerous driving charge but Burdett sided with the evidence presented by Crown counsel in the trial, which was held last week.
Bryan Casavant, the father of Joselyn, said his family was pleased the judge accepted the Crown’s case over the alternative evidence presented by Stocks’ lawyer.
“It started to sound a little confusing there with the alternative information being presented but we are happy the judge saw it our way, that our daughter did everything possible to avoid the collision,” said Casavant.
“The judge got it right.”
The crash occurred on May 22, 2015, as a blue Honda coupe, driven by Stocks, was exceeding the speed limit and lost control as it rounded a curve in the westbound lane of McCurdy.
The Honda struck Joselyn’s green Toyota sedan head-on as it approached from the eastbound lane, knocking the vehicle off the roadway.
The trial was not to contest that Stocks caused Joselyn’s death, but whether the judge felt the accident met the standard for a criminal conviction, that essentially Stocks was driving his vehicle in a manner dangerous to the public.
Joselyn died at the scene of the crash while Stocks suffered injuries to his back and neck.
Joselyn’s father said the judge’s verdict will bring closure to the family, reflecting that his daughter was not at fault and there is some accountability for the tragic loss of one of his three daughters.
“I’m not sure how helpful it would be anyway but we are not looking for him to necessarily serve any prison time. If he stands up in court before us and takes responsibility for his actions that will be a bonus for us,” Casavant said.
“Accountability is more important to us at this point than spending time in jail.”
Casavant said the court process has been like re-opening an old wound at every step along the way, another reason why the verdict offers them some closure.
“Our Christian faith has been an important part of getting us through this,” he said.
In explaining how the family has moved on since the tragedy, Casavant offered the analogy of a tree that suffers some permanent damage, but other limbs continue to grow and bear fruit.
“Nothing will replace the loss of our daughter. But we are left with our other two daughters, each of whom has had a child since the accident, so grandchildren gives us something to focus on moving forward. We know where our daughter is now and we will see her again one day,” he said.
Anthony Kuchma, Casavant’s son-in-law, describes Joselyn as an outgoing person with many friends, devoted to helping others.
“She was the true joyful one of the family, the sweetest person you would ever want to meet. She was so outspoken and vibrant…a loving, caring person,” Kuchma said.
Just two days prior to the accident, Joselyn had just received a promotion to a management position in the gas/retail side of the Scogie’s Auto Spa on Underhill Road in Kelowna.
Stocks had actually worked previously at the car wash business for about two weeks.
“They knew each other enough to say hello as co-workers passing by one another during that two week period but that’s about it. She worked in a different part of the business so we don’t think they really go to know each other that well,” Casavant said.
A verdict is expected today at the Kelowna law courts after the trial looking into the 2015 crash that killed a young Kelowna woman ended last week.
Trevor Stocks, 28, pleaded not guilty to a charge of dangerous driving causing death, related to the 2015 crash that killed Joselyn Casavant, 21.
The verdict is expected this morning at the Kelowna courts and the Capital News will be there and will update the story as soon as possible.
At the time of the May 22 2015 crash, Mounties reported that a blue Honda coupe was allegedly exceeding the speed limit and lost control as it rounded a curve in the westbound lane of McCurdy Road east near Morrison Road.
The Honda struck Casavant’s green Toyota sedan head on in the eastbound lane, knocking it off the roadway.
That Stocks caused Casavant’s death isn’t being debated — a judge is deciding whether he meets the standard for a criminal conviction.
That means proving the motor vehicle was being driven in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature, condition and use of the place at which the motor vehicle is being operated and the amount of traffic that at the time is or might reasonably be expected to be at that place.
Stocks incurred non-life threatening injuries to his back and neck. Casavant died at the scene of the crash.
In the aftermath Casavant, who was known to friends as Jojo, was remembered for her deep spirituality and her “fun, joyful, kind, funny and caring” nature.