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Conflicting Evidence in Davis' Death

November 14, 1989|From Associated Press

MONTREAL — The driver of the car that struck and fatally injured Canadian swimming star Victor Davis was not drunk, a passenger in that automobile said.

Frank Dres, who leases the black Honda that hit Davis outside a bar Saturday night, told the Montreal Gazette that the 19-year-old driver, whom he did not identify, was behind the wheel because he was not drunk.

"Someone else was the designated driver of the car because he was sober," Dres said. "It's just the smart thing nowadays to have a designated driver."

The Olympic champion was declared clinically dead two days after the accident. Davis was removed from life-support systems after showing no response to tests by doctors, said Jacques Charbonneau, a Notre Dame Hospital spokesman.

Family and friends are questioning a police statement on the accident and have hired a top criminal lawyer, Raphael Schachter.

"There seems to be a flagrant contradiction as to what appears to be the position of the authorities, in determining that the incident was a simple traffic accident, and the facts that have been made available to me," Schachter said.

A police statement released Saturday night said the driver of the car "was unable to avoid hitting the man, who was standing nearly in the middle of the street." (Story, C2.)

The statement said the fatal crash was not considered a hit-and-run because the driver, a 19-year-old man, reported immediately to a nearby police station. Davis' family believes another of the three men in the car may have been driving, and the car taken to police was not the one that struck Davis.

The swimmer's girlfriend, Donna Clavel, 22, has said Davis was run down by a car carrying three men who had earlier flirted with Clavel and a friend, Jennifer Watt.

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