‘Looked wrong’: Driver stopped in front of cyclist before fatal crash, trial said

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The man accused of negligent driving in a collision that killed a Calgary cyclist spoke to witnesses at the scene of the incident, the court heard Tuesday.

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And another witness to the incident said the man, Brice Coates, suddenly stopped at an intersection when bicyclist Cory Meza had the right of way, causing the bicyclist to fatally crash into the defendant’s 2010 Hyundai Elantra.

Meza, a 30-year-old bike shop employee, died of head injuries after being taken to Foothills Medical Center.

Seconds after the May 29, 2020, collision occurred at 50th Street and Macleod Trail SW, Linda Verhun said Coates seemed unaware of what had just happened and drove south on Macleod Trail for 60 to 70 meters before to stop after her husband chased him.

Verhun said he was surprised to see Coates talking to two other witnesses to the crash in what appeared to be an effort to concoct a narrative of what had just happened.

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“I found it very strange and disheartening to see that the driver never once approached the (dying) cyclist,” Verhun said.

Instead, he heard Coates and witnesses talk about Meza’s cycling speed, the cyclist who ran a yellow light, and “us convicts have to stick together.”

“It’s very strange to be talking to witnesses, I thought it was amazing.”

She said Coates, 45, who is also accused of making an unsafe left turn, fist bumped one of the witnesses, adding that she took a photo of the group.

As he recalled that scene, one of Meza’s family members bolted from the courtroom.

Defense attorney Stephen Bitzer noted that Verhun had not included those details when he made a statement to police immediately after the crash.

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“I didn’t hear all the sentences, that’s why I never put it in my police statement…I only heard words,” Verhun said.

Earlier, Vehun’s husband, Darcy, testified that he and his wife stopped at the same intersection in their truck and had an unobstructed view of the collision.

He said the helmeted Meza was cycling east on 50th Avenue through the intersection at a speed of 35 to 40 km/h when a westbound Coates made a sharp left turn from 50th Avenue onto Macleod Trail in southbound after appearing to change from the through lane to the turning lane. a.

“The turn seemed sudden… it seemed strange, it seemed wrong,” said Darcy Verhun.

Coates, he said, made no evasive moves as he entered the intersection and that Meza had the right of way.

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“(Meza) didn’t have time to move or react and he hit the middle of the car,” Verhun said, adding that Coates never slowed down and continued down Macleod Trail for 60 to 70 meters.

As he described the collision, Meza’s relatives in the courtroom gallery wept silently.

Bitzer said Darcy Verhun never used the word “sudden” in his police statement.

“I didn’t exactly write what I saw, no,” Darcy Verhun replied.

But he insisted that memories of the crash are “hard to forget”.

Said Bitzer: “The details change over time: His statement changed from (Meza going) fast to very fast.”

An agreed statement of facts read in court indicated that Coates remained at the scene and was cooperative.

Road conditions at the time were described as dry and visibility as daylight to early afternoon.

The trial, scheduled to last four days, resumes on Wednesday.

[email protected]

Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

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