A 20-year-old man accused of driving while drunk, causing a devastating crash that claimed the life of a young father, has been granted bail.
Stuart Ellis was killed on Nov. 13 when a northbound vehicle drifted across the middle line on Highway 48 and slammed into him head-on.
OPP say the driver of the other vehicle, who suffered serious injuries in the crash, was charged the following day.
The 28-year-old old’s wife, Justine Ellis, later told CTV News Toronto that her husband was headed to his job as an electrician when the crash occurred. She said he left their house before she woken up that morning.
The couple, who already have a 14-month-old child together, had found out they were expecting a second child just two weeks before the collision.
Early on in the investigation, Ontario Provincial Police suggested that alcohol may have been a factor in the fatal crash.
When word reached Justine that investigators were looking into the driver’s alleged impairment, she said she felt compelled to speak publicly so soon after her husband’s death to warn others about the perils of drunk driving.
She said she’s particularly concerned as the holiday season is fast approaching.
“I don’t want my husband to have died for no reason,” she said in the days following the crash.
“I don’t want anyone else to go through this. If I can even save one life that means that my husband’s life meant something. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, so if I can save someone else from feeling this pain then I really want to.”
Justine’s father, who is a York Regional Police officer, was present at the Newmarket courthouse on Wednesday.
“He’s got freedom,” said Graeme Turl. “My son and my daughter and my grandchildren do not. They will never get any further freedom from this.”
He added that the couple’s youngest child will have “a vague recollection, if any of his father.”
“My new grandchild that's coming in the New Year will never know their father,” he said.
Newmarket-resident Tyler Neilson has been charged with impaired driving causing death, taking a vehicle without consent and driving on a disqualified license. He was released on $20,000 bail and must live with his family while he awaits trail.
“They're taking this very, very seriously,” Neilson’s lawyer Sheldon Wisener said. “This is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to them as a family.”
He appeared briefly in a Newmarket courtroom this morning where a judge granted him bail.