Trial of Peel paramedic charged with impaired driving in 2018 crash begins


A 25-year-old Peel paramedic ‘drove erratically like a psychopath’ before he allegedly crashed his Chrysler Sebring into Lake Ontario, killing a man he met earlier that night, a witness said of the Crown to a jury in an Orangeville courtroom Tuesday.

Aaron Dobbs is on trial for failing to provide a breath sample, an impaired and dangerous operation that resulted in the death of Shawn Harpur, 27, a Mississauga man he had met hours earlier.

In his opening speech, Crown Attorney Nick Chiera told the jury that a 911 call was made just after 3 a.m. on November 5, 2018 to a residence at 1 Maple Grove Drive in Oakville. .

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Peel paramedic charged with impaired driving causing death gets bail

When officers arrived, they found Dobbs in the yard. A police officer should testify that Dobbs told him “you have to save my brother.” He’s in the water.

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Dobbs was arrested before police headed down Maple Grove Drive where they found a partially submerged car in Lake Ontario at the bottom of the dead end street. The missing man, Shawn Harpur, is said to be a passenger in the car. Harpur’s body was found in the lake later that day.

Ryan Chwalka, who was with Harpur and Dobbs until a few minutes before the fatal accident, told the court that he and Harpur had been drinking at the Clarkson Bar and Grill in Mississauga when Dobbs, a stranger, arrived around midnight.

It was closing time, so Chwalka said he gave Dobbs one of the beers he had already purchased. Dobbs told them he was a paramedic.

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Body found, man charged after car plunged into Lake Ontario near Oakville

Chwalka told the jury that he and Harpur left the bar and got into Dobbs’ car, first going to get cigarettes before stopping at Chwalka’s apartment for 20 minutes, then heading to Wally’s. Dine and stop later at a gas station.

Along the way, Chwalka testified that they had all been drinking, but recalled that Dobbs had a one-and-a-half-beer at Clarkson Bar and Grill, one beer at Wally’s, about four shots of vodka while driving and had a small amount of cocaine with Chwalka and Harpur after stopping at the gas station.

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“I remember him asking for drugs and banging on the steering wheel before we gave it to him,” Chwalka said.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Peter Willis said there were inconsistencies in Chwalka’s testimony between the statements he made to police and the preliminary hearing suggesting Chwalka was too drunk to remember it.

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Peel paramedic charged with impaired driving after fatal crash in Oakville

Peel paramedic charged with impaired driving after fatal crash in Oakville – November 6, 2018

Chwalka described Dobbs’ driving as erratic, describing how he passed on a sidewalk and drove in opposite lanes of traffic.

“I expressed my desire to go out,” Chwalka said, referring to text messages he sent to a friend confirming his fears.

Chwalka said he became more concerned after Dobbs pulled up near a commercial building and “said he was going to murder 23 people in that building.”

Chwalka said Harpur removed the keys from the ignition, but Dobbs was frustrated and asked for the keys. Chwalka said the three got back into the car and knowing he was nervous, Harpur tried to convince Dobbs to stop and let him out.

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“He stopped to let me out. Say, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t take you on this mission. I can’t take you hostage anymore. He was apologizing, he hugged me, he kissed me and left, ”Chwalka testified, saying that as he got out of Dobbs’ car he asked Harpur to come with him but Harpur said, “It’s good, he can take care of me.” . “

The next morning at 10:12 am, the police knocked on Chwalka’s door.

Chwalka testified that he met an officer who said, “Ryan Chwalka? Thank goodness you are alive.

Chwalka said he was asked if he had dated Aaron Dobbs the night before and told him yes, then he was told his friend was missing.

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Chwalka said the officer showed him the Google map detailing where the car entered the lake and was told it happened just after 3 a.m.

Willis suggested that Chwalka was trying to make up facts because he felt responsible for what happened that day.

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Peel paramedic charged with impaired driving causing death gets bail

Peel paramedic charged with impaired driving causing death gets bail – November 6, 2018

“No actually, I don’t. I know who is responsible. I know he killed someone. He had just spoken of the murder of 23 people. I get out of a vehicle, then it rolls straight south on Maple Grove, smashing a metal barrier into the lake. In my head he committed murder, ”Chwalka said.

Dobbs, who is out on bail and suspended with pay pending the outcome of the trial, has pleaded not guilty. The trial continues.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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