Skip to main content

Court hears bail arguments for man accused in alleged impaired driving death of young Alberta couple

Family members and friends of a young Alberta couple killed in an alleged impaired driving crash last month are calling for justice as they heard bail arguments for the man accused on Friday.

Macy Boyce, 20, and Ethan Halford, 21 died in a collision on Highway 21, just north of Trochu near Three Hills on June 17.

According to RCMP, 42-year-old Richard Bell of Enora, Alta. was allegedly impaired at the time while driving northbound on the highway when his vehicle was reported to have rear-ended another vehicle also driving north.

Police say the vehicle that was rear-ended, occupied by Halford and Boyce, then crossed the centre line and collided head-on with an oncoming truck. 

The couple was pronounced dead on scene.

Bell made his first appearance via CCTV footage Friday at Drumheller Provincial Court as both crown and defence presented arguments regarding his potential bail.

He will remain in custody until Justice Judith Shriar makes her decision on bail at the next court appearance scheduled for 9 a.m. on July 29.

Boyce’s mother, Corey MacPherson, said her daughter and Halford had been dating for three years, both responsible adults excited about their future together.

“Our family home is filled with constant reminders of all we have lost. I cannot walk past Macy's bedroom, and take all measures to avoid that space,” she said.

“The intense grief and pain envelop me, bringing me to my knees. Our families wake to be reminded that this pain, this cruel pain, renews itself each day.”

MacPherson added that Halford was an integral part of her family as everyone cherished their dinner conversations and the table games they played together.

“They were not only 20- and 21-years young, but they were also vibrant and adventurous kids who loved each other, and their families very much.”

“Our families now serve as a tragic cautionary tale of how poor choices are far reaching and devastating.”

"Both families of Halford and Boyce would like to thank Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada for their support, but also remind others that the deaths of their loved ones were entirely preventable.” 


According to family members, Boyce and Halford were celebrating having completed their university finals when the crash happened.

The pair had been taking a weekend off from working their summer jobs to help pay for their education in anticipation for what was supposed to be a fun getaway. 

Boyce’s cousin, Amanda Atkin described Macy as a “special individual” who was "so bright, loving, and would light up a room.”

“From such a young age, she was so goofy and funny and just liked to make jokes and you know in her later years she was becoming such a strong young woman for social justice and just loved her family,” Atkin said.

“Honestly, there was nothing more important to her in the world. It’s a big shock and so it’s been very difficult to deal with, especially losing her to impaired driving."

Boyce was looking forward to finishing off her fourth and final year of studies.

At the same time, she was also an upstanding two-year member of the Calgary Police Service cadets and received the rank of sergeant after aging out of the program in 2019.

Meanwhile, Halford was also a very astute young man, described by family as being “an inspiration” to be around.

He was completing his third year of civil engineering at the University of Saskatchewan and had also kept busy working in civil construction for the last three summers.

“He should have had an amazing future,” said Gene Yamada, a close friend of Halford’s who provided a previous statement to CTV News

“Way too soon for him and his girlfriend to be taken away and so much hurt for an aspiring young person to be taken away needlessly.”

Halford was also a highly accomplished amateur wake-surfing athlete who recently finished on the podium in the men’s amateur world championship. 

He was sponsored by Brigade Wakesurfing in Boise, Idaho.

Founder of the company, Shawn Wright had previously said Halford’s smile was “infectious” and that he “had a good feeling for people.”

Wright says his team is working on plans to design a unique board to pay tribute to Halford.


CTV News has learned through obtained court documents that Bell has a lengthy and violent criminal record, but none involving driving offences.

Bell is charged with the following offences in relation to the June 17 incident: 

·       Dangerous operation causing death;

·       Impaired operation causing death;

·       Impaired operation of a motor vehicle;


·       Refusal to provide a sample.

Bell’s mother has offered to put up $5,000 for bail, pending an upcoming decision by Justice Shriar on Friday, July 29. Top Stories

PM pans Poilievre for 'pulling stunts' by threatening to delay MPs' holidays with House tactics

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is threatening to delay MPs' holidays by throwing up thousands of procedural motions seeking to block Liberal legislation until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backs off his carbon tax. It's a move Government House Leader Karina Gould was quick to condemn, warning the Official Opposition leader's 'temper tantrum' tactics will impact Canadians.

Stay Connected