October 30, 2014 - 2:22 PM
KAMLOOPS – In final submissions before Wayne Fedan is sentenced for two convictions of dangerous driving causing the deaths of Brittany Plotnikoff and Ken Craigdallie, both Crown and defence counsel called for jail sentences of no more than three years.
“Human life can never really be valued or assigned a price... not just one, but two people were killed in this incident,” Crown prosecutor Bernie Caffaro said in Kamloops Supreme Court Thursday morning.
Fedan, 53, originally faced multiples charges of impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and causing an accident resulting in death when he rolled his pickup truck March 20, 2010. The incident killed Plotnikoff, 20, instantly. Her boyfriend, Craigdallie, 38, died from his injuries shortly after the crash.
Following the trial, Justice Deborah Kloegman convicted Fedan of two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
Caffaro is calling for a three-year jail sentence. He said Fedan’s moral culpability in the case is heightened as his actions resulted in more than one death of the passengers he was responsible for as the truck’s driver.
“He killed his passengers with grossely excessive speed,” Caffaro said. “His actions can be taken as deliberate in every sense that matters.”
Despite two voir dire rulings that excluded evidence of Fedan’s blood alcohol reading from that night, Caffaro mentioned alcohol as a factor in the crash near Mackenzie Avenue.
“We can’t ever know precisely how much he drank,” Caffaro said adding the court heard previous evidence from witnesses who said Fedan drank throughout the evening.
“He continued to consume alcohol,” Caffaro said. He made a note of the whiskey bottle the trio drank from before the crash.
“It was clear he was going to be the driver that night... he knew it. It was his truck... he had a responsibility. He abdicated that responsibility completely.”
Caffaro said beyond jeopardizing his passengers, Fedan’s reckless driving put the public at risk. He added Fedan demonstrated a lack of remorse when he inquired if the dog riding along in the vehicle was alive “while his companions lay dead and dying.” (The dog was unharmed.)
Anthony Varesi, Fedan’s lawyer, defended his client and said not asking about his passengers immediately after the carnage cannot be held against him.
“It has to be noted that Mr. Fedan was experiencing a degree of shock,” he said.
Varesi cited his client’s lack of recent files on his criminal record and referred to the accident as “an isolated incident that unfortunately resulted in tragedy.”
“Mr. Fedan is an otherwise responsible and hard-working individual,” Varesi said. “This accident has haunted (him).”
Varesi said his client has had mental and physical damage to overcome since the incident. Fedan suffered two broken vertebrae in his back, a broken arm and a fractured cheek bone. Varesi said Fedan has told him he wishes he had died rather than his two passengers.
The publicity of the accident has caused Fedan difficulties in obtaining work.
When asked if he would like to address the court, Fedan stood and briefly apologized to the families of the victims.
“I’m sorry for causing such grief and anguish,” he said.
Varesi is calling for a two-year federal jail sentence. Caffaro is requesting Fedan face a driving prohibition once released from prison.
Dangerous driving causing death carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison whereas impaired driving causing death carries a maximum life sentence. Kloegman is expected to deliver a sentence Friday morning.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014