LETHBRIDGE - As widow Kristy Provost stroked her exhausted young son's hair and sat patiently waiting with friends and family for more than 4 hours in a Lethbridge courtroom Tuesday, Douglas Bagnall failed to show up in court a third time.
The 62-year-old has been charged with impaired driving causing death and driving with a blood alcohol over 80 mg% causing death - in relation to an accident that killed former Pikanii Band Councillor, teacher and sobriety advocate, Barney Provost.
The accident occurred June 25, 2018. At that time, police say a Toyota Corolla driving the wrong way on Highway 3, west of the Highway 509 intersection hit a Chevy Impala, killing the driver and injuring a 12-year-old girl.
Bagnall was ordered by Judge Maher Jan. 8 to attend Lethbridge Provincial court, otherwise a warrant held for his arrest since Dec.11 2018, would be released. He was also ordered to obtain counsel.
An agent acting for Edmonton Lawyer William Tatarchuck told the court, after standing down the matter twice, that Tatarchuck was out of the country until February 3, but that he had expected Bagnall to attend court.
The Crown meantime, explained to Madame Justice M.C. Christopher, that both Lethbridge Police and Coaldale RCMP had earlier in the day visited the 62-year old's residence, but had failed to locate him. Bagnall was also supposed to report to police each week, but has missed that last 6 weeks.
The defense once again asked that the warrant be held, as Bagnall's family had retained a lawyer as required.
However, the Crown told Justice Christopher that there was no suggestion on Jan. 8 that the warrant would be held again.
Madame Justice Christopher told the court the warrant would be held until Wednesday, Jan. 15 to give Bagnall a chance to show up for court, in case there was any confusion as to his required presence.
Two unnamed witnesses who watched the proceedings and say they know Bagnall reacted with shock that the warrant was not released. They told reporters they had just seen him entering a fast- food restaurant and ordering food over the noon hour on Scenic Drive.
Provost's family, meantime, sat stunned outside of the courtroom.
"It's unfair, he [Bagnall] has his life." said Kristy Provost's mother. "How much can a person endure?"
Provost, cradling her son, said she would be at every court appearance.
Justice Christopher told the court that if Bagnall did not check in with Lethbridge Police as required Tuesday, and if he did not attend court in person Wednesday morning, the arrest warrant would be released.
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