Accused drunk driver denied bail in death of Edmonton area man

by Pierre Royal

A St. Albert man accused of killing one person and injuring three in an alleged drunken hit and run collision in north Edmonton in March was denied bail Thursday.

Michael Beverly Gress, 36, is charged with manslaughter, impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm, three counts of dangerous driving causing death and failing to remain at the scene of an accident for the three car crash at 167 Avenue and 59A Street.

The evidence and arguments heard during Wednesday's provincial court bail hearing and the reasons for the judge's decision cannot be revealed under a court ordered publication ban.

At the time of the 1:30 a.m. collision March 12, police said the driver of a Dodge Avenger struck a Chevy Cavalier from behind at a high rate of speed, sending it spinning into the eastbound lanes and colliding with an oncoming Mitsubishi Lancer.

Police said Russell House, 29, was a passenger in the Cavalier and was thrown from the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Cavalier driver was taken to hospital with life threatening injuries.

Police also said the driver and passenger of the Lancer were taken to hospital with non life threatening injuries.

The driver of the Avenger was not injured and fled on foot. Gress is slated to be back in court July 7.