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Alleged street racer pleads not guilty

Steven Ryan Mercer outside Harbour Grace Provincial Court in 2016.
Steven Ryan Mercer outside Harbour Grace Provincial Court in 2016. - Compass file photo

Steven Ryan Mercer, the second man to face the court in connection with the crash that killed teenager Hannah Thorne, will go to trial next fall

The second man charged in connection with the alleged street-racing crash that killed 18-year-old Hannah Thorne in Trinity Bay last year has pleaded not guilty.

Steven Ryan Mercer of Upper Island Cove entered not guilty pleas on charges of criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, street racing causing death, street racing causing bodily harm and breaching court orders when he was arraigned in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s Friday morning.

His two-week trial will begin Oct. 2, 2018, and will be heard by judge alone.

Related story:
Facts laid out in events leading up to Hannah Thorne’s death

Mercer is alleged to have been driving a Chevy Colbalt on the New Harbour Barrens July 7, 2016, in a street race with co-accused Brian Robert King, who was driving a Ford F-150 pickup. Both drivers were reporting travelling 130 km/h.

Thorne was a passenger in her grandmother’s Hyundai Accent when it collided with King’s truck. Thorne was killed instantly, while her grandmother, then-81-year-old Gertie Thorne, was seriously injured, spending two months in hospital and requiring surgery.

King, of Bay Roberts, pleaded guilty to charges similar to Mercer’s in September. According to the agreed statement of facts in King’s case, a witness to the crash heard King saying, “She is dead. My life is f---ed.”

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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