A Fort Nelson man has been found guilty of criminal negligence causing two deaths in a June 2010 car accident.
In a B.C. Supreme Court judgment first announced in Fort Nelson on Friday, Dec. 4, the Honourable Madam Justice Elizabeth Arnold-Bailey also found Joshua Alan Rai Locke guilty of criminal negligence causing bodily harm to another passenger in the accident.
Locke was 23-years-old at the time of the incident. He had been seen drinking and doing drugs with friends on the bank of the Muskwa River before he left and drove four passengers in his car.
He then lost control of the car, a 1991 black Nissan 300 ZX, off of Highway 97 and the Old Alaska Highway, where the car flipped several times before settling in a ditch.
The accident killed two teenage girls, Courtney Siegmund and Chelsea Cook. Siegmund died at the scene, being thrown from the vehicle, and Cook later died in hospital.
Terri-Lynn McAuley was also seriously injured in the tragedy, and the judgment stats that she ‘continues to bear lasting mental and physical scars from the accident.’
Another passenger, Brandon McKinnon was in the front seat and survived without serious injuries, as the only person in the vehicle wearing a seat belt.
Locke and Siegmund were cousins, and he was residing with her at the time of the accident.
On trial, the accused alleged that McKinnon grabbed the steering wheel, causing him to lose control of the vehicle.
However, Justice Arnold-Bailey did not find reasonable grounds to believe his recollection, and says his evidence seemed to have “a ‘flexible’ quality” to it.
Part of her judgment reads, “He told the Court many things that, when pressed a little further, were not true. For example, he was adamant that he did not drink and drive, and yet he clearly did. He was also 99% certain that he did not have any cocaine with him that day and yet Mr. McKinnon saw him with cocaine and a nurse extracted a ball of it from his mouth in the hospital emergency department.
Mr. Locke is quite simply not an accurate historian about anything that he thinks might put him in a bad light. His self-interest is transparent and he is not a skilled liar.”
His sentence has not been announced.