A man accused in a Canada Day crash in central Alberta that killed two teenagers and severely injured two others has pleaded not guilty.
Dylan James Beauclair, who is 21, is charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death and two more of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
His trial began Thursday in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench before a judge alone.
Ashleigh Smith, who was 16 and from Springbrook, Alta., and 18-year-old John Dolliver from Penhold, Alta., died on July 1, 2016, in a late-night single-vehicle accident east of Red Deer.
Mounties said at the time that two occupants were ejected from the vehicle and died on the scene, while two others were injured and taken to hospital.
A fifth occupant who was not ejected was also taken to hospital but was released a short time later.
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The first witness called by the Crown was one of the people in the car the night of the crash.
Lexie Martin testified that the group planned to attend the Canada Day fireworks in nearby Sylvan Lake before attending a party back in Red Deer.
But it started to rain, Martin recalled, so they decided to go straight to the party.
Shaylene Taberner, who was Beauclair’s girlfriend and now lives with him, testified she was supposed to be the designated driver that evening. But she and Beauclair got into a “huge fight” after her father called her and told her to come home. She said he was upset that she was out with Beauclair.
The group suggested Beauclair take the wheel, Taberner testified, but she couldn’t recall much more than that.
“I faintly remember blowing a stop sign. Then I remember waking up and a nice lady was holding my hand,” she told court.