NEWS

Brother of 'road rage' accused testifies

09/15/2011 11:38 EDT | Updated 11/15/2011 05:12 EST

A man who was a passenger in the truck that allegedly hit and killed a 21-year-old man three years ago testified in court on Wednesday in New Westminster, B.C.

Brent Parent, 41, has pleaded not guilty to five charges related to dangerous driving and criminal negligence in the death of Silas O'Brien, a 21-year-old killed in an apparent hit and run.

O'Brien died the morning of March 13, 2008, after being hit on a road in Langley.

On Monday, two of O'Brien's friends testified that they were run off the road by a pick-up truck while they were driving together to Seattle to catch a flight.

They told the court that the three of them were unharmed when they got out of their vehicle, but were charged again by the same truck. Two of them jumped out of the way, but O'Brien was hit and killed.

Lloyd Teneycke was with his brother the night in question.

Teneycke said in court Wednesday that he and Parent had been out with a few friends that night. Teneycke says he had too much to drink and was intoxicated.

As they headed home, Teneycke said he fell asleep in the passenger seat of his brother's truck.

"I was woken by a rubbing or something, or the vehicle veering and that's what woke me," he told the court.

It was about 2 a.m., and Parent said to his brother that they might have hit a vehicle, and it might have left the road.

Teneycke said they decided to go back to make sure the occupants were okay.

He said they straddled the yellow line, going 40 to 45 km/h while looking into the ditches for the other vehicle.

He said he spotted a rolled-over truck, and men standing on the road.

"Two of the people rushed toward our vehicle. It looked like they were agitated, with their hands up in the air. They looked like they were going to throw something," Teneycke said.

"One ran pretty close up to the side of the vehicle. It looked like he would grab the door or kick the vehicle. I said: 'Let's get the hell out of here.'"

Couple stopped to help

A couple that drove by the three friends that night, before O'Brien died, also took the stand.

Brad Lowe said he and his wife stopped to offer help to the three men whose truck was in the ditch.

Lowe said he and his wife asked if anyone was hurt, and one of the men said in reply: "No, not unless we find the driver."

Lowe also testified a second man was on his cell phone, "wanting to find whoever ran them off the road."

Jennifer Lowe said that as she and her husband drove up, the three men were standing in the eastbound lane. One man was "visibly upset and pacing and yelling into a cell phone," she said.

She said he was "really pumped up, excited and agitated and using the F-word. He was angry and swearing."

As the couple drove away, they saw the lights of another vehicle behind them swerve into the men.

Vince Michaels, the defence lawyer, said outside the court that up until now, the story has been portrayed as a case of road rage, but court testimony may be changing that perception.

"Now that we've heard from Mr. Parent's ex-wife and from his brother, who was in the vehicle at the time, I think everyone is starting to get a more complete picture," Michaels said.

Outside the court, O'Brien's sister read from a prepared statement, saying her brother Silas was the "spark in their family," and that their family has been changed forever by his death.

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