By Lawrence Powell
Johnny Halliday, who died early Sunday morning after apparently jumping from a moving vehicle in Lawrencetown, was described by one of his co-workers as the No. 1 Dad and a great fellow to be around.
Halliday, 30, died on the north side of Main Street, Lawrencetown at about 4 a.m. just west of the intersection with Lawrencetown Lane and AJ’s Grocery. Annapolis RCMP received an emergency call at about 4 a.m. The driver of the Pontiac van, a 31-year-old Ganville Ferry woman, was arrested at the scene for impaired driving.
Residents of the area were awoken by the screech of the van’s brakes. One man said he heard Halliday had jumped in front of the van but he also heard that he might have jumped from it. The man, who watched as police and emergency crews secured the scene, said Halliday may have had friends living in an apartment building just a few dozen metres west of where he died.
RCMP Sgt. Rocky Calhoun said the woman told police Halliday had jumped from the vehicle. Calhoun said Halliday and the woman were known to each other.
An accident analyst from Kingston was at the scene and the van was impounded pending a mechanical inspection. Calhoun said the analyst’s report is not complete but he doesn’t believe there is anything to indicate excessive speed. The van stopped a short distance from Halliday’s body.
Peggy Robinson, who worked with Halliday at Annapolis Save Easy in Annapolis Royal, said his death is a big loss. “It hit all of us quite hard,” she said.
Halliday was a meat cutter and had returned to work at the Save Easy in April after the regular meat cutter suffered an injury in a fall.
“He was very happy-go-luck,” Robinson said. “Just a great fellow to be around.”
She said he spent a lot of time with his daughter and said if you were a child growing up today, Halliday would be the guy you’d want to be your father.
“He was the No. 1 Dad,” she said. “Everybody liked him. He’ll be very sadly missed.”
Calhoun said the 31-year-old Granville Ferry woman, the driver and only occupant of the van, has been released from custody and is scheduled to appear in Annapolis Royal provincial court on December 3.
Calhoun said, depending on the results of the continuing investigation, the charge against the woman could be expanded to impaired driving causing death. Currently police are looking for any witnesses and are trying to piece together a timeline of Halliday’s movements that day. Anyone with information can call RCMP at 665-4481 or 825-2000.