Man on trial for killing Oakville woman denies he was impaired, says he lost consciousness | Canadian

Kevin Hyde, 59, said on the day he lost control of his car, striking and killing 51-year-old Louise Whiten and her dog in Oakville, Ont., he suffered a medical condition that rendered him temporarily unconscious and when he came to, he was confused as to what happened.

It was Dec. 3, 2020 around 2:15 p.m., when Halton regional police were called to Lakeshore Road East near Burgundy Drive after Hyde’s Nissan sedan jumped the curb and hit Whiten and the dog from behind. The wife and mother of two was pronounced dead on scene.

At the judge-alone trial being heard at the Milton courthouse, Hyde denied he was impaired by alcohol or THC, though he admitted to having consumed a couple of beer earlier in the day and half a marijuana cigarette the night before the fatal crash.

Hyde is on trial for impaired driving by drugs causing death and dangerous driving causing death. He has pleaded not guilty.

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Hyde testified that he had twice before suffered syncope – a sudden loss of consciousness typically caused by low blood pressure.

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Hyde said it first happened in March 2013 when he fell on his face after blacking out at his house in Burlington but he did not seek medical attention. The second time it happened was June 2013 when he blacked out in his garage and fell after going out for dinner with friends. Hyde told the court he did go see a doctor that time. He was was diagnosed with the condition and lost his driver’s licence for a period of ten months.

On the day of the fatal collision, Hyde said he didn’t remember anything about the crash until feeling the impact, which woke him up. “I did not wake up until I came to rest in the car. My first recollection was the impact. I didn’t even know I’d hit Ms. Whiten or the post.”

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Hyde said he recalled regaining consciousness and wondering how he had demolished his car. He then saw a person lying on the ground with two women and a man near her. She had a blanket covering her legs. He went over to the person lying on the ground and lifted up the blanket and thought, at first, she was a small child.

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He told the court he needed a cigarette, and went to the trunk of the car where he knew there was a carton. He then opened the trunk and saw empty beer cans everywhere. “It was a mess. Certainly the look of the trunk was ugly,” Hyde explained.

Earlier, Hyde testified he had gone to the cemetery to visit his father’s grave for about an hour after having lunch with his mother, whom he was living with at the time. He drank two beer at the cemetery but testified he was not impaired, nor was he impaired by the half marijuana cigarette he had smoked the night before.

Hyde said after the crash he learned he was under arrest for impaired driving. The officer told him he was also charged with dangerous driving causing death. “I immediately demanded that he do a roadside screening test,” said Hyde, believing his blood alcohol level was low.

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He said he suffered a syncope and had killed someone. “It was by far the worst episode” he had ever had. he said.

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The defence provided extensive medical records about the prior syncopes which showed that Hyde had been drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis prior to the episodes. Hyde said the notes in the files, regarding his alcohol and cannabis consumption, from five different doctors were wrong.

During cross examination, assistant Crown attorney Michael Godinho suggested that Hyde was speeding and was conscious which is why he swerved to avoid a post. Hyde could not explain how that happened.

Godinho also wondered if Hyde had gone to the trunk, not to get a cigarette, but to place the empty beer cans and marijuana that he had left inside the car.

Closing arguments are set for late next month.

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