Canada Dangerous driver handed $2,500 fine in crash that killed young woman

19:36  05 january  2018
19:36  05 january  2018 Source:   Windsor Star

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010418-Colhurst2: Kyle Matthew Colthurst leaves Superior Court in Windsor on Feb. 21, 2017. © Tyler Brownbridge, Windsor Star Kyle Matthew Colthurst leaves Superior Court in Windsor on Feb. 21, 2017.

Kyle Matthew Colthurst, convicted of dangerous driving in a 2014 crash that killed 19-year-old Katie Robson, was sentenced Thursday to 12 months probation and given a $2,500 fine.

Superior Court Justice Scott Campbell accepted a joint submission by the Crown and defence for the sentence. Campbell said that while the offender drove dangerously the evening in question — up to 106 km/h, more than twice the posted limit — he had doubts about whether Colthurst was primarily responsible for the accident.

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Still, Campbell said the 32-year-old father of three acted dangerously.

“He was the person operating the vehicle,” Campbell said. “He had absolute control over it. It was his conscious choice to accelerate to a speed of 106 km/h in a mixed residential and commercial area.”

Campbell said Colthurst had been drinking that evening and was speeding, had more passengers than seat belts in his car, and frightened his own passengers. But Campbell believes the offender truly felt bad for his actions.

“The offender’s actions that evening were dangerous,” Campbell said. “I believe the offender understands the impact of such conduct. I accept that he feels genuine remorse and that the events of April 2014 will remain with him forever.”

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A Windsor Police officer investigates a fatal accident Friday, April 4, 2014 on Lauzon Pkwy just south of Tranby Ave. in Windsor.

Campbell noted that Colthurst has been under strict bail conditions, including a driving ban and a curfew from 11 p.m to 6 a.m., for more than three years. The judge also said Colthurst has no related convictions and is working part-time to help support a family.

But the father of the young woman who was killed in the accident said the sentence does not send a proper message.

“We’re totally disappointed,” Paul Robson said after the ruling, 44 months to the day the crash occurred. “Nothing’s going to bring Katie back. But I just don’t feel justice is really being served here. There needs to be a message sent.

“We’ve seen it before in this city many times. There’s a lot of road rage out there and this is what this comes down to.”

Assistant Crown attorney Tim Kavanagh declined comment afterward. But defence lawyer Brian Dube believes the judge made the right decision.

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“The sentence was an appropriate sentence,” Dube said. “This was a very tragic incident with the death of a young girl. But his honour found a doubt with respect to whether my client legally caused the death.”

Dube said legal precedents suggest offenders don’t receive jail time in similar situations.

“There was insufficient evidence to show my client struck the other vehicle, which caused the death of the victim,” Dube said. “It was the other way.”

Windsor Police officers investigate a fatal accident Friday, April 4, 2014 on Lauzon Pkwy just south of Tranby Ave. in Windsor.

Dube said Colthurst feels terrible for what happened.

“He was spared a jail sentence but this haunts him,” said Dube, noting that his client may end up having his licence suspended under the Highway Traffic Act.

Colthurst was speeding in a Chevy Impala on Lauzon Road shortly before 3 a.m. April 4, 2014, tailgating and jockeying for the lead with a stranger in an SUV.

As the vehicles raced southbound, they side-swiped. The SUV sheared a traffic light off its moorings before flipping upside down.

Katie, who was a backseat passenger in the SUV, wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and became pinned under the overturned vehicle. Robson’s friend Leah Garrod was severely injured.

The SUV’s driver, Calvin Crosby, 26, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm. He was sentenced on June 30 to one year in jail.

cpearson@postmedia.com

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