Man pleads guilty to crash that killed local man
- Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 12 Apr 2006, p. 4
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An Orangeville man who caused a fatal collision a year ago shook hands with the dead man's brother and wept after pleading guilty, Monday. William Paquette, 50, pleaded guilty in Guelph provincial offences court to careless driving, a Highway Traffic Act offence. His actions killed 44-year-old Andrew Hardcastle of Georgetown. Hardcastle's brother, Tony, was present in court for the guilty plea. "Everyone was very remorseful and crying," assistant Crown attorney Steve Hamilton said after court, noting the two men "were both understanding of each other's grief." Paquette was northbound on Wellington County Road 24 in Hillsburgh about 6:35 a.m. March 24, 2005. He pulled into the southbound lane to pass a road sander, and later told police slush being thrown up by the truck impaired his vision. As Paquette's Volkswagen Jetta passed the sander, the man did not see Andrew Hardcastle's southbound Pontiac Bonneville. The two drivers tried to avoid a collision, but the Jetta sideswiped the Pontiac. That caused Hardcastle to lose control and veer into the path of a northbound dump truck, resulting in a head-on collision. Court heard Hardcastle, a father of three, was conscious at the scene. He was airlifted to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto where he died three hours after the collision. Hamilton read a portion of widow Kimberly Hardcastle's victim impact statement, in which she spoke of the "emptiness" she has felt since that day. "Not only did Andy die but my world . . . died with him," she wrote. Paquette, a former truck driver who lost his job after the collision, was fined $1,000 and had his licence suspended for 14 days. "Mr. Paquette took responsibility by saying he should not have passed the sander in the manner he did," Hamilton said, noting there was no evidence of excessive speed or aggressive driving.
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- 12 Apr 2006
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- Paquette, William ; Hardcastle, Andrew ; Hardcastle, Tony ; Hamilton, Steve ; Hardcastle, Kimberley
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