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Driver in fatal hit and run confessed to daughter in conversation taped by police

A driver convicted of killing an Ont. teen then fleeing the scene told his daughter he “would have done the exact same thing” even if he had been sober.

The new details form part of the cases’ agreed statement of facts, which was read in court Tuesday as David Halliburton and Anastasia Halliburton were sentenced in the death of Lucas Shortreed.

The pair were arrested last year, 14 years after the fatal crash. The vehicle involved in the fatal hit and run was found hidden behind a false wall inside a trailer on their property.

David Halliburton, the driver, received a two and half year sentence. Anastasia Halliburton, who helped cover up the crime, was given a six-month conditional sentence, including four months of house arrest and two months of curfew.


On Oct. 10, 2008, Lucas Shortreed was walking home from party in Alma, Ont., around midnight when he was hit by a driver who fled the scene.

On Tuesday, court heard Halliburton was driving home from a friend’s house when he struck Shortreed, who was walking on the road.


The case’s agreed statement of facts reveals more details about what happened on that night in 2008.

The vehicle that hit Shortreed was travelling eastbound on County Road 17. The collision occurred just east of 14th Line. The speed limit is 80km/h. The weather was clear and the roadway was dry and in good condition.

“Mr. Shortreed was thrown approximately 30 feet airborne as a result of the collision,” the report said.

Shortly after the crash happened, another motorist came upon the scene and contacted emergency services.

 An officer with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer was the first on scene and attended to Shortreed.

“He had no vital signs and there were obvious signs of severe trauma – it was clear Mr. Shortreed had passed,” the agreed statement of facts read.

Shortreed’s injuries were “extensive,” including a complete transection of the spinal cord, multiple rib fractures, a laceration of his lung and liver, plus a severe fracture of his left tibia and fibula. An autopsy confirmed his death was “instantaneous.”


The Halliburtons were arrested Sept. 21 and released on bail two days later.

OPP obtained authorization to covertly record their conversations.

The agreed statement of facts said the driver David Halliburton, confessed to his daughter on Sept. 23, 2022, that he was the responsible for Shortreed’s death.

He said he had a few beers at a friend’s house and decided to drive home. He said he believed he wouldn’t have blown over the limit.

His 11-year-old son was sitting in the back seat.

“During the conversation, Dave Halliburton admitted he struck Lucas Shortreed who was standing in the middle of the road and that he saw Mr. Shortreed at the last second, but it was too late to avoid him,” the agreed statement of facts said.

Halliburton said he knew he struck a person immediately but when his son asked him what happened, he said he struck a deer.

He stopped the car briefly and looked back but couldn’t see anything. He continued home, which was about 5 kilometres from the crash.

He admitted to his daughter that he brought the car back to his home and hid it in the trailer. His plan was to get rid of it by “cutting it up” but he was unable to. He also dumped bleach on the car in an attempt to get rid of DNA.

“Even if I was stone cold sober, I would have done the exact same thing,” he said in the conversation with his daughter.

The vehicle had substantial damage with the roof partially collapsed and windshield shattered.

Haliburton’s son suffered superficial facial injuries from glass as the windshield shattered.

When they returned, Anastasia Halliburton tended to his injuries.

Police search a property on Sideroad 21, Mapleton Township on Sept. 21, 2022. In a new report, police said they were acting on a tip from the public. (Wellington County Police Services Board agenda package)


For 14 years police searched for answers.

Officers received and investigated over 100 tips but they weren’t able to find the vehicle.

From the early stages of the investigation, OPP believed they knew what type of car was involved – a 1995 to 1997 white Dodge Neon.

On Sept. 21, 2022, there was a breakthrough in the case. Police seized a white Dodge neon on the Halliburton’s property in Maple Township.

The Halliburton’s were arrested the same day.

A police report released earlier this month revealed the car had been hidden behind a false wall inside a semi-trailer.

The Halliburtons bought a second Dodge Neon and swapped the licence plates and Vehicle Identification Numbers to avoid detection.

They were questioned by the OPP twice – once in 2008 and once in 2009 – and cleared both times.

Then in 2013, when the OPP were looking for a similar vehicle to stage a re-enactment of the hit and run, they asked the Halliburtons to borrow theirs.

The Halliburton's white Dodge Neon was subsequently used in the re-enactment as part of a media campaign trying to generate leads in the case on the fifth anniversary of Shortreed's death. Top Stories

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