June 15th, 2024

Impaired motorcycle collision results in conditional sentence

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 10, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man who drunkenly crashed into a pickup truck with his motorcycle with enough force to knock the truck onto its side, has received a custodial sentence, but one he will be allowed to serve in the community.

During a hearing Friday in Lethbridge provincial court, Roy Garnet Scarrow was handed a nine-month conditional sentence, during which he must remain in Alberta, reside at an approved residence in Medicine Hat and obey a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day. He must abstain from consuming alcohol and non-prescribed drugs and he is prohibited from entering a licensed business unless it’s in a restaurant in which he is eating. He is also prohibited from driving for five years.

Crown Prosecutor Clayton Giles said he could have asked for an actual jail sentence of six months, but noted Scarrow suffered significant serious and lasting injuries, including multiple injuries to his face and legs which required multiple surgeries. Giles pointed out one of Scarrow’s feet was actually pointing in the wrong direction.

Giles reminded court that sentences are imposed to deter an offender from repeatedly committing crimes, and suggested the consequences of Scarrow’s drunk driving have likely achieved that objective.

“I feel relatively confident that Mr. Scarrow has, still, daily reminders of what a poor decision it is to drink and drive.”

Scarrow pleaded guilty in September to charges of impaired driving, failure to stop at a stop sign and driving while unauthorized, but sentencing was adjourned to schedule a sentencing hearing and allow time for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Scarrow was speeding on his motorcycle while travelling north on 18 Street North at about 7 p.m. Sept. 30 of last year. He blew through a stop sign and crashed into a truck that was eastbound on 13 Avenue.

“There was no evidence of any braking really, at all,” Crown Prosecutor Clayton Giles told court following Scarrow’s guilty pleas. “He struck the rear of the Nissan pickup truck with sufficient force that the pickup truck spun and rolled onto its side.”

The female driver of the truck was not injured, although her dog was hurt and required a veterinarian’s care. Scarrow, who was drunk at the time and does not remember the collision, had several teeth knocked out in addition to his numerous other injuries, and was airlifted to Calgary.

“If it knocked the stuffing out of him, in a sense he’s the author of his own misfortune,” Giles said Friday.

He added that should Scarrow get caught drunk driving again, he could be sent to jail for a year.

Lethbridge lawyer Greg White said the incident significantly affected Scarrow and forced him to acknowledge his “prior” problem with opiates.

“He’s a changed person,” White added.

Judge Sylvia Oishi noted Scarrow has taken responsibility for his actions and taken steps to rehabilitate himself. She also agreed with the Crown that Scarrow will continue to suffer long-term consequences for his actions.

In addition to his conditional sentence, Scarrow was also fined a total of $645 for failing to stop at a stop sign and driving while unauthorized. He must also pay restitution of nearly $2,000 to the owner of the truck.

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