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Inuvik man charged with impaired driving causing death, 2.5 years after crash

The Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk highway. The crash happened in August 2021, about 26 kilometres north of Inuvik, N.W.T. (Randall McKenzie/CBC - image credit)
The Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk highway. The crash happened in August 2021, about 26 kilometres north of Inuvik, N.W.T. (Randall McKenzie/CBC - image credit)

RCMP in Inuvik, N.W.T., have charged a man with impaired driving causing death, in connection with a fatal collision two and a half years ago.

Police did not name the man charged, but CBC News has learned his name is Malcolm Nerysoo.

The charge dates to Aug. 8, 2021, when police responded to a single-vehicle collision on the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk highway, about 26 kilometres north of Inuvik.

The other person in the vehicle, killed in the crash, was Kristine McLeod, the deputy grand chief of the Gwich'in Tribal Council.

In a news release Thursday evening, police said they believed at the time that Nerysoo was impaired, and a blood sample showed he had alcohol in his system.

A traffic accident expert was used to reconstruct what happened in the crash.

In an email, RCMP Const. Josh Seaward said it took so long to lay charges because police only recently obtained all the available evidence.

"It is prudent to have a complete and thorough investigation conducted before laying charges and beginning the court process, which also starts the 'Jordan' timer," Seaward wrote, referring to a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that sets time limits on how long someone accused of a crime can wait before trial.

"Evidence gathering was taking place on this file during the interim, and only in January did we receive a final report we had been waiting on before proceeding with the laying of charges," Seaward wrote.

Nerysoo is scheduled to appear in court in Inuvik on March 12.