Impaired driving charges laid in February collision that killed two, injured two

Edmonton Journal, June 16, 2015

A 36-year-old Leduc man is facing impaired and dangerous driving charges in relation to a fatal head-on collision in Leduc in February that killed two men from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Two people were injured.

Harold May Jr., 37, and Shawn Briffett, 37, died Feb. 18, 2015 when the taxi van they were in collided with a pickup truck on Sparrow Drive, about three kilometres east of the Edmonton International Airport.

A 35-year-old man ejected from the taxi was injured. The 38-year-old taxi driver was taken to hospital with critical injuries.

The pickup truck driver was charged June 15, RCMP said Tuesday. He was not injured in the collision. A 25-year-old female passenger in the truck received minor injuries.

May, Briffett and the injured passenger were employees at De Beers’ Snap Lake diamond mine, a remote fly-in/fly out operation in the Northwest Territories. They had finished a rotation working at the mine and were on their way home when the collision occurred.

May was an accomplished athlete who played numerous sports, including hockey, baseball and softball, while Briffett enjoyed fishing and hunting.

Rodney Stroud was close friends with Briffett, a man he described as an “awesome guy” with a great smile.

Stroud was pleased to learn the driver had been charged nearly four months after the collision.

“It’s not going to bring back Shawn, but I hope (the driver) will face some consequences,” he said.

Stroud described the deaths of Briffett and May as “a big loss to a small community.”

Bobby Bartlett, 36, faces two counts each of impaired operation causing death, impaired operation over 80 mgs causing death, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, impaired operation causing bodily harm, impaired operation over 80 mgs causing bodily harm, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.

He is scheduled to appear in court July 30.
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