A Penticton man has upwards of $69,000 to pay back to ICBC following an incident where he was driving at a high rate of speed and crashed into multiple vehicles at a car dealership.
The 30 year-old, who the Western News is not naming because of the mental health issues he was dealing with at the time of the incidents in 2017, was sentenced to one year probation and $600 in fines.
Crown counsel John Swanson said the RCMP received a complaint from a citizen that there had been a hit and run accident at the Golden Sands Resort. Crown counsel said the tipster identified the driver by name and the direction he left the scene.
“As the police were in the process of taking the complaint from the citizen, all the lights in the detachment suddenly flickered and went out. The back up generator, fortunately, kicked in to provide power to the RCMP detachment but within minutes of that they got another call that there had been an accident on the Channel Parkway resulting in a transformer being hit, damaged and taking out the power to the section of the city,” said Swanson.
RCMP arrived at the scene of the Channel Parkway incident around 8:44 p.m. and noticed the accused’s 1995 white Dodge Caravan van and the extensive damage to the vehicle.
“The vehicle path indicated the Dodge van had gone through the ditch into the lot at the Ford dealership and struck multiple vehicles there. Then it continued on to crash into the transformer,” said Swanson.
Crown counsel said police noted the smell of cannabis and the man admitted he had been smoking the substance.
“He had advised the police he had his brakes fixed with baling wire because a weld had broken. He said he had been driving and cut off in traffic when his brakes locked up and said that was the contributing factor to the crash. Apparently he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time he lost control of the vehicle,” said Swanson.
An impaired investigation was conducted but no charges arose from it. Crown counsel said witnesses indicated the vehicles speed was in the 100 to 110 kilometres per hour range when it flew off the road into the dealership.
The man has no previous criminal record and defence lawyer James Pennington said he had lost his job when he got into these difficulties. He has since found another steady job and has been accepted for an apprenticeship in the trades.
Judge Michelle Daneliuk said it is important to encourage the positive path he is on, but he still must be held accountable.
“You must realize today that you could have very easily caused serious damage or injury to someone else had they been hit by your vehicle,” said Daneliuk.
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