Preliminary hearing dates pending for Alberta man charged in relation to tubing death on Osoyoos Lake
Lawyers will return to court on Monday, August 25 to discuss setting dates for a preliminary hearing for an Alberta man facing drunk driving charges in relation to an incident that claimed the life of a popular B.C. student three years ago on Osoyoos Lake.
During a pre-trial conference held last week at the Penticton Courthouse, the Calgary lawyer hired by Ryan William Symington, 30, agreed to clear up his schedule to represent his client during the preliminary hearing that will take place in Penticton.
Court heard one of the two Crown attorneys who will be prosecuting the case, Kevin Fotty, won’t be moving to the South Okangan until September.
Symington has been charged with impaired driving causing death after Marco Corbin, 18, was struck and killed by a powerboat while tubing with friends on Osoyoos Lake in the late afternoon of August 16, 2011.
While dates haven’t been set, it appears the preliminary hearing will take place later this fall at the Penticton Courthouse.
Symington has hired Calgary lawyer Balfour Der to represent him.
Crown prosecutor Mallory Treddenick, who will be leading the prosecution against Symington, was present at last week’s court appearance. She successfully argued two weeks of court time should be set aside for the preliminary hearing, rather that one week as suggested by Der.
“We are ready to proceed and set a date (for the preliminary hearing),” said Treddenick, to presiding Justice M. Shaw. “If the hearing takes less than two weeks, then that’s great.”
After a three-year police investigation, Symington has been charged with impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, failure to stop at the scene of an accident, having care and control of a vessel with over .08 of alcohol in his system and attempting to obstruct justice.
Only two months after graduating high school, Corbin and several of his friends made the trip for some summer fun in Osoyoos.
The teenager was rushed back to shore, but paramedics and bystanders were unable to revive him.
Symington was released on $15,000 cash bail after spending one night in jail following his arrest.
During several court dates since charges were filed, Symington has not made any appearances at the Penticton Courthouse, but must be present at the preliminary hearing.
The judge at the preliminary hearing will determine if there is sufficient evidence for charges to proceed to trial.
Bob Corbin, the deceased’s father, told the Osoyoos Times in early May that his family has been torn apart since he lost his oldest son.
“All I can say is my family has been totally devastated and destroyed since this happened,” he said in a telephone interview from the Mission recording studio he owns and operates. “It’s affected every part of our lives in the most devastating way you could imagine.
“It has affected my marriage and it has wreaked havoc with my two other sons, who worshipped the ground that Corbin walked on.
“He was their role model and their inspiration and they aren’t the same kids since this happened. “Marco was the one his younger brothers looked to for guidance and they haven’t been able to deal with the fact he’s gone. Our entire family has been decimated by this.”
His son was a “brilliant young man” who had just graduated high school with a 97 per cent average and was excited about beginning his engineering studies in university, he said.
“He was a provincial track and field champion and he had just received two full scholarships to pursue his engineering studies. He and his brothers (Robbie and Tony) played together in their band (The Corbin Brothers) that were starting to gain a lot of attention on the music scene here in the Lower Mainland.
“My son was going to make a huge contribution to society and it all ended in such a senseless way. We haven’t recovered from it three years later and I honestly doubt if we ever will.”
“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” he said. “The devastation this has caused to everyone who loved Marco, and there were so many people, is indescribable.
“You can’t put into words what this has done to me and my family. We were a very close family … with three happy and healthy boys who were ready to take on the world and it all disappeared in a matter of seconds. It’s still so hard to believe.”