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The man charged in the fatal hit-and-run of a three-year-old boy was released on bail Thursday, as donations for the tot’s grieving family poured into an online fundraising account.
Kenneth Dawson, 56, of Windsor, appeared in provincial court and was released on $5,000 bail with no deposit. No money will have to be paid unless he violates any of the court-ordered conditions. Dawson’s sister, Janet Desbiens, volunteered to be his surety.
The Crown did not oppose his release.
Dawson is charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident causing death and criminal negligence causing death. Three-year-old Kevin Eh Say died Monday night after he was struck by a van at Bruce Avenue and Wyandotte Street West.
Dawson was released on bail Thursday afternoon following a brief bail hearing.
Having traded a blue jail jumpsuit for black shorts and a T-shirt, Dawson rushed from the courthouse wearing dark sunglasses with the brim of a faded baseball cap pulled snugly over his forehead.
He hopped into the passenger seat of a waiting pickup truck, which quickly drove away. His sister and another family neighbour escorted him to the pickup before climbing into another vehicle.
Dawson was ordered to live in Lakeshore with his sister. He was also ordered not to communicate with witnesses in the case and has been prohibited from driving and consuming alcohol or drugs, except for drugs that are prescribed to him.
As Dawson was waiting for his release, a fundraising campaign for Kevin Eh Say’s family was gaining momentum online.
By 10 p.m. Thursday, nearly US$6,200 had been raised to help cover funeral costs under the Indiegogo logo, Generosity. Click on this link to access the site.
A woman by the name of Pita began the fundraising campaign and stated on the site that little Kevin “enjoyed eating ice-cream and spending time with his large family.”
Pita writes that the boy’s sisters, eight-year-old Isabella and 16-year-old Tee Tee, were with him when he was struck by the van “and are going to need significant support.”
Pita said the boy’s father, K’nyaw Eh, works “12-hour days, caring for vegetables” in a Leamington greenhouse. The boy’s mother is Is Say. He also has an 11-year-old brother, Knyaw Say.
The online post by Pita says the family escaped genocide and arrived in Canada as refugees 11 years ago. “The K’nyaw Eh family are indigenous Karen peoples,” Pita writes.
Kevin, the family’s youngest, died at hospital Monday night after he was struck by a van around 8:40 p.m.
Dawson was arrested Tuesday following a public plea from investigators for help finding the GMC van involved in the hit-and-run.
Witnesses told officers an eastbound van struck the boy and kept going. They said it was a dark green full-size van with a beige stripe and a ladder on the back.
Windsor police released a photo of the van and received “numerous” tips. One of those tips led police to a van that was parked in the 900 block of Tecumseh Road West. Officers went there around 1 p.m. Tuesday.
They found the van and spoke to the owner. Police said the owner gave officers a “version” of where and when he had recently driven his van. Investigators said they found video surveillance that disproved the van owner’s version of events. Police arrested him around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Police had yet to execute a search warrant on the van Thursday.
This was not Dawson’s first run-in with the law for alleged driving offences. According to court records, he was convicted in 1997 for driving with a blood alcohol concentration over 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. He was also convicted of an impaired driving charge from 2009.
London News & Search