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Man charged with dangerous driving causing death of Prince County teacher appears in court

Summerside provincial court house -File Photo
Summerside provincial court house - File

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - A Central Kildare man charged with dangerous driving causing death and failing to stop and offer assistance at the scene of an accident made his first court appearance Jan. 17.

Matthew Clifford Gaudet, 31, was charged following an RCMP investigation into an Aug. 27, 2018 collision that killed Marjolaine Ward, 60, of Alberton. Ward was a popular French language teacher at École Pierre-Chiasson in Deblois and held that position since 2006, working mostly with intermediate and senior high students.

Gaudet’s appearance was brief, just long enough for a representative of his lawyer to request additional time to review the case, they had just recently been retained as defence counsel.

The Crown indicated the disclosure package, which is essentially all the evidence in its possession, was a considerable amount. They suggested giving the defence extra time to go over the evidence.

Judge Jeff Lantz set a date of Feb. 7 at 9 a.m. for the case to come back for a further update.

Gaudet has not yet had an opportunity to enter his plea on the charges, that will come later.  

Ward’s death left her community in mourning.

“She will be very much missed by students and staff as she was a teacher who always held her students’ success very close to heart,” said school principal Ghislain Bernard following Ward’s death.

“She always put them first and went the extra mile to help them achieve their goals.”

Ward was riding her bicycle along Route 12 in Kildare Capes shortly before 7 p.m. on Aug. 27 when she was struck by a car. Police reported at the time that nearby residents rushed to her aid, but she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital. The driver of the car did not remain at the scene.

Gaudet was arrested a few hours later.

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