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Driver had methamphetamine, Xanax in system at time of fatal Central Saanich crash

RCMP toxicology expert outlined Anthony Thomas’ blood analysis in court Tuesday
Anthony Thomas, 27, is on trial in Victoria facing multiple impaired driving charges in connection with the death of Kim Ward, 51, and critical injury of her sister Tracy Ward, then 48 in Central Saanich in 2018. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

During Tuesday’s trial session, a toxicology specialist outlined the concentrations of methamphetamine and Xanax that Anthony Thomas had in his system when he drove into two pedestrians on Central Saanich Road in 2018.

Thomas is on trial in Victoria for a slew of impaired driving charges in connection with the death of Kim Ward, 51, and critical injury of her sister Tracy Ward, then 48.

Kimberly Young, a forensic toxicology specialist with the RCMP, testified that analysis confirmed Thomas’ blood contained 297 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) of methamphetamine, 39 ng/mL of amphetamine and 14 ng/mL of alprazolam – commonly known as Xanax – at the time of the collision.

Young said methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant drug.

“It’s a drug that speeds up your body, gets everything going faster,” she said. “Methamphetamine in Canada is an illicit drug, so the only way to take it and have it in your body in Canada is through recreational use.”

Amphetamine, also a central nervous system stimulant, can be prescribed for attention deficit disorders, but is also a result of the body metabolizing methamphetamine, Young told the court.

“Anytime someone takes methamphetamine into your body, your body tries to break it down and get rid of it, and one of those byproducts is amphetamine. So when we see methamphetamine, the majority of the time we will also see amphetamine as well,” she said.

Since amphetamine is a drug on its own, Young added, it’s difficult to differentiate its origins and therefore hard to tell if it was present due to methamphetamine consumption or was consumed separately.

Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, can be prescribed but is also known for its recreational use, she said.

Thomas’ trial continues this week.

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Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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