Charges were dismissed Wednesday against a 19-year-old Tecumseh man who claimed he was not at the wheel during a wild 16-kilometre police chase through Lakeshore in a stolen car.
Matthew Reis had been charged with dangerous driving, but denied he was the one steering a 1992 white Chrysler Dynasty. The pointed to his co-accused, 19-year-old Kevin Broadfoot, as the driver.
The chase ended when the vehicle crashed in a ditch at the end of Concession 2 near Highway 401.
Police believed Reis was the driver during the chase. But that could not be confirmed since the two men attempted to flee on foot following the crash before being arrested.
Ontario Court Justice Douglas Phillips agreed evidence given by others during a June 18 trial pointed toward a likelihood that Broadfoot was the driver and "there is reasonable doubt" Reis was behind the wheel.
"Accordingly, no conviction can be entered," said Phillips in his ruling.
Reis had testified he was only a passenger in the car driven on Oct. 5, 2006 by Broadfoot and was unaware the car was stolen earlier. He believed Broadfoot was taking him to a party and then was surprised when police started chasing them.
"We are content," said Kenneth Golish, lawyer for Reis. "It's kind of what we expected - that the judge would believe it was the other guy driving the car."
Broadfoot is being tried separately on charges of possession of stolen property, possession of cocaine and breach of court conditions.