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New trial ordered for man acquitted in 2019 hit-and-run death of girl in Cape Breton

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's highest court has ordered a new trial for a Cape Breton man accused of impaired driving, reckless driving causing death and leaving the scene of a collision that killed a 10-year-old girl.
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View from the judges seat in a courtroom at the Edmonton Law Courts building, in Edmonton on Friday, June 28, 2019. Nova Scotia's highest court has ordered a new trial for a Cape Breton man who was accused impaired driving, reckless driving causing death and leaving the scene of a collision that killed a 10-year-old girl who was out for a bike ride in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's highest court has ordered a new trial for a Cape Breton man accused of impaired driving, reckless driving causing death and leaving the scene of a collision that killed a 10-year-old girl.

Talia Forrest was riding her bicycle when she was struck by a vehicle in Big Bras d'Or, N.S., on July 11, 2019.

On March 25, 2022, Colin Hugh Tweedie was found not guilty of the charges.

At the time, a Supreme Court of Nova Scotia judge in Sydney ruled the Crown had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Tweedie was impaired while he was driving the vehicle in question.

The court also heard testimony that it was dark at the time of the collision, and that Tweedie believed he had hit a deer.

On Thursday, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal unanimously ruled the acquittal should be set aside, and the three-member panel ordered a new trial.

Chief Justice Michael Wood said the court would issue a written decision at a later date. 

According to court documents, the Crown argued on appeal that the trial judge failed to consider Tweedie's blood-alcohol content within the two hours following the collision.

The Crown also argued the judge erred by failing to consider the whole of the evidence.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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