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Tim Hortons trial concludes

Posted on May 2, 2014 by Taber Times

The man accused of driving a big oil service vehicle into the back of his own pickup truck, sending it crashing into a Tim Hortons restaurant, says he was too drunk to drive the large truck.

Testifying Friday during his trial in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench, Jake Krahn said the truck is too large and cumbersome to maneuver while drunk. In fact, he told court he’s never driven drunk.

“I’m a professional driver,” he said.

But Crown prosecutor Darwyn Ross pointed out the accused had been drinking heavily the night of the incident, and had driven his pickup truck, while drunk, from a friend’s home to his own residence in Taber.

Krahn added he might not have been too drunk at that time, although he had consumed numerous beers and part of a large bottle of Whiskey. He also said he’s not sure how he got home from his friend’s house, although earlier in his testimony he said he had returned to his house by himself.

Court heard during several days of testimony, that Krahn had been drinking heavily at his home and a friend’s house the afternoon and evening of March 7, 2012. Then just before midnight, Krahn’s brother drove them in Krahn’s pickup truck to Tim Hortons in Taber. Krahn remained in the vehicle while his brother went inside for coffee.

Moments later video surveillance shows the oil truck ramming into the back of the pickup truck, pushing it all the way into the corner of the restaurant.

Although Krahn remembers few details about the incident, he said he saw a “flicker” of light or something that warned him a vehicle was approaching from behind and he just managed to leap out of the pickup before it was rammed. However, he couldn’t remember from which side of the truck he jumped. He also said he climbed into the oil truck afterward to see who was driving it, but didn’t see anyone.

During an interview with police the following morning, Krahn told them he had climbed into the passenger side of the oil truck, but video footage shown during the trial, clearly shows the truck but no one getting in.

“I was clearly mistaken…about what happened,” he testified.

In fact, the video doesn’t show anyone jumping out of the pickup truck, either, and only shows Krahn walking from around the back of the oil truck as his brother and a restaurant employee exit the restaurant.

The Crown contends Krahn planned to wreck the oil truck, which belongs to a company Krahn worked for three months earlier. In a highly intoxicated state, he drove the truck, which had been stolen from the company’s service bay, to Tim Hortons, drove over a curb and across some gravel then rammed it into the back of his pickup.

He faces charges of possession of stolen property, impaired driving, dangerous driving, public mischief and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.

The trial wrapped up Friday, but court will reconvene Monday at which time the Crown and defence counsels will provide their closing arguments and the judge will charge the jury before releasing them to reach a verdict.

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