PENTICTON - An ATV driver who crashed into a bridge, killing his passenger was sentenced in Penticton court today on a charge of dangerous driving causing death.
Reid Alexander Schnyder pled guilty to the charge, stemming from the April 16, 2016 incident that resulted in the death of David Shackleton, 33, of Peachland.
Schnyder was driving an ATV and Shackleton a passenger when the vehicle hit a bridge abutment late in the afternoon of April 16, 2016.
Crown prosecutor Kurt Froehlich told court Shackleton was thrown into Trout Creek in the Summerland area and his spine was fractured. He was swept away by the strong current of in the creek, resulting in search and rescue efforts to find his body.
Judge Gregory Koturbash agreed to a joint submission presented by defence and Crown counsel of a 14-day intermittent jail sentence followed by three months probation.
He called the case one of tragic consequences for Schnyder for failing to take care to pay attention to his driving that day resulting in the death of his best friend. The judge said everyone in the courtroom had experienced times when driving when one was not paying the attention one should to the road.
“Any time that happens, that’s dangerous. Every one of us should, and need to do everything in our power to avoid that occurring. It would be disingenuous to say it does not happen regularly. The tragic reality is, on this particular occasion, there was a fatal consequence to not paying attention,” Koturbash said.
“The case is also tragic… you are not a criminal, Mr. Schnyder, in any sense of that word. From everything that I’ve heard, through your counsel, you are a valuable member of our community, and from everything I’ve heard, it’s reasonable for me to conclude that this event will have a devastating impact on you for the rest of your life.”
“There are some kinds of tragedies to which courts are ill-equipped to respond. There is nothing that I can do in this room today that will in any way be proportionate to the loss experienced by the Shackletons,” Koturbash said, calling the Shackletons “gracious” for forgiving Schnyder.
Schnyder will serve his two-week sentence intermittently at Okanagan Correctional Centre.
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