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Driver in Sooke fatality accused in violent theft

May 11 2012

An 18-year-old Sooke man who was in the news four weeks ago as the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash on West Coast Road has been charged with robbery and assault with bear spray.

David James Chiasson appeared by video Thursday morning in Western Communities provincial court from the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre.

He is charged with using violence to try to steal lottery tickets, juice and a bottle of vodka from a Sooke resident, assault with a weapon, possession of a prohibited weapon - bear spray - and possessing a prohibited weapon while prohibited by a court order.

The offences are alleged to have taken place in Sooke on May 6.

Earlier this week, Chiasson was detained at a telebail hearing. At Thursday's court appearance, he appeared edgy and depressed, staring at the floor. Chiasson is to appear in court again May 24 at 10 a.m.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve Wright said when Chiasson is eventually released from custody, police will ask the court to ban him from Sooke.

"He has no full-time address here. He's living in a flop house, has no means of support and he is charged with a fairly serious offence," Wright said. "We don't want him back here."

According to Wright, the alleged robbery and assault took place May 6 about 6 p.m. A 34-year-old man was leaving the Chevron gas station on Sooke Road when he was approached by a man demanding "everything."

When the 34-year-old refused to hand over his possessions, he was sprayed in the face with bear spray.

The victim called 911 and police and paramedics came to his assistance.

The victim told police the man who accosted him was the driver in the fatal crash on Sooke Road.

He said he recognized him from a TV interview.

Police searched for the suspect but could not find him that night, Wright said.

Chiasson was arrested May 7 in an abandoned trailer in a trailer park on Sooke Road.

The investigation into the fatal April 9 crash has been turned over to the South Island Traffic Services in Chemainus, Wright said.

Nicolas Twiddy was killed in the crash on West Coast Road. The 15-year-old had been a student at Edward Milne Community School before transferring to Pacific Secondary.

Two others, Steve Livingstone, 18, and 15-year-old Maria Forbes, were injured.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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