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Port au Choix man to be sentenced in March for charges related to 2017 ATV accident

Taking in the totality of evidence presented at trial, a Corner Brook provincial court judge has convicted a Port au Choix man in connection with a 2017 all-terrain vehicle accident that injured another man.

In his written decision, Judge Wayne Gorman said the evidence presented establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Marcus Tony Spence was operating the ATV on a highway without wearing a helmet, that the vehicle was involved in an accident and that Spence left the scene of the accident to escape criminal liability.

With that he convicted Spence on four counts — operating an all-terrain vehicle upon a highway, operating an ATV without wearing a helmet, driving an ATV, which was involved in an accident and failing to remain at the scene of the accident having the care, charge or control of a motor vehicle which was involved in an accident and leaving the scene of the accident with the intent to escape civil or criminal liability.

The accident occurred on June 11, 2017 and followed a night of drinking that started at a shed party in the town.

Spence was among a number of people who left the party and walked over to the bar at the Sea Echo Motel.

Spence and a woman left the bar at 3 a.m. and walked back to where the shed party had been. They left from there on an ATV that was driven by Spence. Spence brought the woman home and then left to pick up the man who was later injured.

Another woman testified she was on the bridge of friend’s home when she heard the ATV pass by and people laughing, and then a loud bang followed by silence.

The woman and two other friends immediately went to the scene and the victim was found lying on the road with blood coming out of his ear.

Another witness testified that the ATV next to the injure man was owned by Spence. He said Spence was there and he told him to leave as he did not want him to “get into any trouble.”

Spence left the scene before police arrived.

The victim testified he had been at the shed part and could not remember anything after leaving there and waking up the next day in the hospital in Corner Brook. He had suffered a fractured skull.

A sentencing hearing for Spence was set for March 22 during a brief court appearance on Wednesday afternoon. The defence has asked for a pre-sentence report to be completed before then.

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