A Cardston man was acquitted on Wednesday (July 29) of a single charge of failing to remain at a collision causing death, in relation to a fatal vehicle versus pedestrian crash from 2018.

The Lethbridge Herald reports that Michael White Quills, 32, was instead found guilty of the lesser offence of failing to stop in order to escape civil or criminal liability.

White Quills admitted during his trial in January that he was driving the pick-up truck that hit and killed Gage Good Rider, 26.

Good Rider was walking along Highway 5 with his girlfriend after a night of drinking, early in the morning on Sep. 2, 2018, when he was hit. He was pronounced dead at the scene, near the Lethbridge Airport.

White Quills also testified that it never crossed his mind that he hit a person, since he didn’t notice any people on the road.

While giving his verdict on Wednesday (July 29), Judge Paul Pharo said the Crown failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that White Quills was aware that he hit Good Rider, according to the Lethbridge Herald. Pharo instead determined that White Quills fled the scene because he was afraid of being charged with speeding, impaired driving and driving without insurance, and that he would be stranded with a broken down vehicle.

White Quills is scheduled to be sentenced on Sep. 4.