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Man on trial for drug-impaired driving causing death of Oakville mother

Click to play video: 'The impaired driving trial has begun for a man charged with killing an Oakville mother of two, her dog' The impaired driving trial has begun for a man charged with killing an Oakville mother of two, her dog
WATCH: The impaired driving trial has begun for a man charged with killing an Oakville mother of two, her dog – May 31, 2022

It’s been just 18 months since Ching Mac’s wife Louise Whiten was killed as she was out walking on a mild December day with the family’s puppy, Zack.

Now Kevin Hyde, the man accused of losing control of his car and colliding with the 51-year-old speech pathologist, charged with impaired operation by drugs causing death and dangerous driving causing death, is on trial by judge alone at the Burlington Courthouse.

Hyde has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer Dean Paquette argued his client, who was 58 years old at the time, was not impaired, but rather suffering from a medical condition known as a syncope which caused him to lose consciousness.

Read more: Husband speaks out after Oakville woman killed by suspected impaired driver while out for walk

For Mac and the rest of Whiten’s family who have taken time off work to attend the trial which began virtually in Milton but is now in-person in Burlington, it’s important to be here.

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“It’s not easy. At some point, you think it’s just not fair. He’s trying to get off of this case whereas I lost my wife and my dog,” said Mac, who is trying to stay strong for his two teenaged sons who he says are struggling without their mother who was the glue of the family.

On Tuesday, drug recognition expert Mary Simovic testified about the test she gave Hyde on the night of his arrest. It was Dec. 3, 2020, when Whiten was walking along a path on Lakeshore Road East near Burgundy Drive when Hyde’s Nissan sedan mounted the curb, striking Whiten and her dog from behind.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Simovic told the court that when she asked Hyde if he had any medical conditions, he said no and after a lengthy exam concluded Hyde was impaired by cannabis. During cross examination, Paquette questioned Simovic on her lack of experience with drug testing involved deadly collision.

She testified she had only become a qualified DRE (drug recognition expert) in early 2020.

Const. Kimberlee Newton also testified that she was dispatched to help with the deadly motor vehicle collision and arrived around 2:40 p.m., about 25 minutes after the crash. She observed a white rolled object in the driver’s side wheel well and was asked to seize some beer cans and marijuana found in the trunk.

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“I noticed beer cans, cans of Molson Canadian. Some were open and empty,” Newton said.

“I also noticed a can, a tin can with a baggie in it which contained cannabis.”

Inside the car, Newton testified she noticed a faint odour of burnt cannabis. During cross-examination, Paquette reminded the court that it’s legal to transport marijuana in the trunk. Paquette also said the white rolled object had a filter in it, and suggested it was a nicotine cigarette.

Click to play video: 'Husband of Oakville woman killed by suspected impaired driver speaks out' Husband of Oakville woman killed by suspected impaired driver speaks out
Husband of Oakville woman killed by suspected impaired driver speaks out – Dec 7, 2020

Earlier in the trial, court heard from the arresting officer who said that he smelled the odour of alcohol on Hyde’s breath. That officer testified that Hyde told him he had two beers before lunch.

A paramedic who treated Hyde at the scene also took the stand and told court that he had a history of blacking out, though he declined to go to hospital.

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Security video was also shown of Hyde’s Nissan sedan speeding past another vehicle. The posted speed limit on Lakeshore Road East is 50 km/h. The court has yet to hear how fast it’s estimated Hyde was travelling.

Mac said a second surveillance video was shown which showed the moment of impact. He tried not to watch it, but happened to see it the third time it was shown in court. Thankfully it was grainy and taken from a distance.

“You could just see how fast the car was travelling and the impact of it. It was horrible,” he recalled.

The trial continues.

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