Despondent Penticton man ordered to pay damages for crashing into vehicles at dealership | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Despondent Penticton man ordered to pay damages for crashing into vehicles at dealership

Calvin James Handley received $1000 in fines and 12 months' probation after entering guilty pleas for failing to stop at an accident scene and driving without due care and attention, following a couple of collisions on Nov. 1, 2017, in Penticton court yesterday, March 11, 2019.
March 12, 2019 - 11:13 AM

PENTICTON - A Penticton man was “not in a good way” when he crashed into several vehicles a local car dealership along with hitting a transformer that knocked out the power at the RCMP detachment in 2017, according to his lawyer.

Calvin James Hindley, 30, was trying to kill himself when he crashed his van into another vehicle at the Golden Sands Resort, then drove off down the Channel Parkway where he collided with a row of cars in the parking lot of Skaha Ford before striking a hydro transformer, a Penticton courtroom heard yesterday, March 11.

Hindley pleaded guilty to failing to stop at the scene of an accident, and driving without due care and attention following the crashes on the evening of Nov.1, 2017.

Crown prosecutor John Swanson told court police were informed of a hit and run in front of the Golden Sands Resort on the evening of Nov. 1, 2017 just before power to the RCMP detachment went out. Minutes later, on backup power, the detachment received a call of another collision, this time on the Channel Parkway.

Police arrived to find Hindley’s van in the ditch with extensive damage. The vehicle had gone off the road, striking several vehicles parked at the Skaha Ford dealership, before striking a hydro transformer, which resulted in the power outage experienced by the detachment and a large part of the city.

Hindley admitted he’d been smoking cannabis prior to the collisions, appearing dizzy and confused to police. He was not charged with impaired driving.

He told police his brakes had recently been repaired with baling wire after a weld had broken, which contributed to the crash. Witnesses told police his van had been travelling at between 100 and 110 km/h when it left the road.

Swanson said pre-sentencing and psychological reports had been completed on Hindley, who has no prior criminal or driving record. He told Judge Michelle Daneliuk Crown had no issue with the findings in the reports, including a recommendation for community disposition.

Defence lawyer James Pennington said Hindley “was not in a good way” when he met with him. Pennington said he was going through a rough patch, and was suicidal at the time of the incidents following a relationship that had soured. He said his client’s childhood was “not a bed of roses,” in that he had suffered a lot of abuse.

Pennington also told the court his client was employed and needed his drivers license in his work.

Judge Daneliuk called Hindley’s case “very unusual.” He told Hindley that his early life amounted to a “terrible start in this world, which obviously had some effect on you.”

But Daneliuk noted Hindley had been making positive steps forward, with a new relationship and a new job that he could make a career out of.

She said he was extremely fortunate he didn’t succeed on his mission, which was to end his life. The judge also said Hindley was extremely fortunate not to have injured anyone else, although he ran up a considerable bill in damaged vehicles.

“I encourage you to stay on the path you’re on,” Daneliuk said.

Hindley was sentenced to 12 months of probation and $1,000 in fines. He must also pay a $69,000 bill from ICBC for damage caused to the vehicles at the car dealership.

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