Gold River driver admits criminal negligence causing death of Kings County woman


  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>Emergency crews at the scene of a fatal auto crash in Aldersville, Lunenburg County on Nov. 2, 2019.</p>

Just over two years ago, Alysha Dawn Kennedy was driving a black Chrysler 200 on Highway 12 in Aldersville, Lunenburg County, heading in the direction of Kentville when her car collided with an oncoming gold-coloured Volkswagen, killing the front-seat passenger in that vehicle, 71-year-old Linda Fraser.

The facts of the incident that took place on Nov. 2, 2019 north of New Ross were read aloud in provincial court in Bridgewater Feb. 17 by Crown prosecutor Leigh-Ann Bryson. Just before Bryson outlined the facts, Kennedy, 26, of Gold River, admitted to one count of criminal negligence causing the death of Fraser.

Bryson said Kennedy's vehicle was in a line of traffic travelling northbound below the 90 kilometre-per-hour speed limit. The car was in a legal passing zone when Kennedy navigated into the southbound lane and "passed two cars and a bus," Bryson explained to the court.

Highway 12 is an undivided two lane highway with single lanes of traffic travelling in opposite directions.

Kennedy's car was still in the southbound lane but no longer in a passing zone when the Volkswagen, driven by Lynda Nix, came around a curve. Kennedy, who was the sole occupant of the Chrysler, tried to avoid the oncoming car by navigating to the road shoulder, but the passenger side corners of each car collided resulting in significant damage to both autos, Bryson said.

Emergency crews, including police, multiple ambulances with paramedics, and New Ross and Kentville volunteer firefighters were summoned to the crash at about 3:30 p.m. An RCMP collision reconstructionist examined the scene for evidence, resulting in a stretch of Highway 12 being closed for seven-and-a-half hours.

Bryson said Nix, 72, sustained two broken arms and bruising and spent five days in hospital. She was transported to hospital by the air ambulance LifeFlight chopper, which landed and departed from a field near the crash scene.

Fraser, who died at the scene, lost her life as a result of blunt force injuries to her head, chest, abdomen and extremities, Bryson said.

A published obituary said Fraser, who loved bingo trips and listening to classic country music, lived in New Minas and spent four decades working for a snack food company before retiring in the early 2010s. She is survived by two daughters and a son.

The court ordered the preparation of a Gladue report to help the presiding judge decide on a fit and appropriate sentence. Such a report, named for the person who challenged sentencing provisions in the criminal code, can be requested if an offender has an Indigenous background. The maximum sentence for criminal negligence causing death is life in prison.

The case goes in front of a judge again in June when a date for sentencing could be determined.

Kennedy is also accused of dangerous driving causing the death of Fraser, and dangerous driving and criminal negligence causing bodily harm to Nix. Those charges are expected to be dealt with by the court at sentencing. Kennedy re-elected trial in provincial court instead of Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Bridgewater before pleading guilty Feb. 17.

The matter was slated for a multi-day trial in the coming weeks.

Kennedy's defence lawyer David Hirtle declined to comment on the case to LighthouseNOW. Bryson said she would comment to LighthouseNOW if able to but she did not respond to emailed questions.

Also pertaining to Nov. 2, 2019, Kennedy is accused additionally of the Cannabis Control Act charge of illegally transporting cannabis in the vehicle, which carries a $295 fine, and Motor Vehicle Act offences of operating an uninsured ($1,272.50 fine) and unregistered vehicle ($180 penalty). Those allegations return to Bridgewater court in late April. Those matters are untested and she is presumed innocent of those charges.

Thank you for printing this article from lighthousenow.ca. Subscribe today for access to all articles, including our archives!