Fatal Hit-and-Run Driver Confesses Unrepentance, Ends 14-Year Mystery


David Halliburton, a driver convicted of causing a teenager’s death in a hit-and-run incident, then fleeing the scene in Ontario, had recently divulged, to his daughter, sentiments of unrepentance. Even if he had been in a state of absolute sobriety, “he would have done the exact same thing” he confessed. The revelation of these remorseless statements emerged as part of the agreed facts within the case, shared during court proceedings where David, and his accomplice Anastasia Halliburton, both received their sentencing on Tuesday.

This marked the end of a dark saga that began 14 years ago, with the untimely death of young Lucas Shortreed. The Halliburton pair, who were implicated in the fatal incident, had been absconding ever since, harboring the vehicle responsible for the tragedy behind a false wall within a trailer on their property. David Halliburton, found guilty as the driver of the concealed vehicle, was sentenced to two and half years, while his accomplice Anastasia received a lighter six-month conditional sentence, with four months of house arrest and a subsequent two-month curfew.

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The events that took the life of Lucas Shortreed unfolded late one evening on October 10, 2008, when the teenager was returning from a party in Alma, Ontario. Tragedy struck when Halliburton, who was driving home from a friend’s house, collided with Shortreed, who was on foot. The vehicle was cruising along the eastbound lane of County Road 17 near 14th Line, under conditions that were clear with a dry road, when it hit Shortreed, catapulting him nearly 30 feet into the air. The aftermath of the accident was a grizzly discovery for a passing motorist who immediately alerted emergency services.

According to forensic reports, the wounds sustained by Shortreed included a completely severed spinal cord, multiple fractured ribs, lacerations of his lung and liver, and a severe fracture to his left tibia and fibula. Mortality was immediate, horrified first responders from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would later testify.

The covert investigation which followed led to the Halliburtons being finally apprehended on September 21. The subsequent recordings of their conversations revealed that David Halliburton confessed to his daughter on September 23, 2022. He had made the fateful decision to drive home after consuming a few beers but firmly believed that he had been under the legal limit. His 11-year old son was in the back seat when the unfortunate incident happened.

In the aftermath of the incident, Halliburton stopped the car briefly to look back but saw nothing. He admitted to telling his son that they had hit a deer and then continued to their home, only about 5 kilometers away. He confessed his crime to his daughter and divulged his subsequent attempt to hide the damaged vehicle, his futile bid to destroy it, and his desperate attempts to dispose of potential DNA evidence.

The delayed justice of 14 years was hard-fought by investigators who tirelessly pursued over a hundred tips which, until September 2022, had not pointed them towards the vehicle concealed within the Halliburton’s property in Maple Township. The inauspicious vehicle, a white Dodge Neon manufactured between 1995 and 1997, had been meticulously cloaked behind a false wall within a semi-trailer. The Halliburtons had even secured an identical Dodge Neon and swapped out the license plates and vehicle identification numbers in an attempt to evade detection. Their white Dodge Neon would ironically end up being used in a re-enactment of the hit-and-run on the fifth anniversary of Shortreed’s death, as part of a media campaign designed to generate critical leads. Despite being questioned by the OPP twice, once in 2008 and again in 2009, the Halliburtons managed to evade justice until their apprehension in 2022.