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Driver jailed for role in crash that left teen in coma

Convicted for his role in a collision that left a Red Deer teen with a brain injury and a long road to recovery, Eric William Petty was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Petty was sentenced Wednesday morning in Red Deer provincial court.

He pleaded guilty on Dec. 8, 2015, to one count of refusing a breath demand causing injury. Charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and criminal negligence causing bodily harm were withdrawn.

Dery Wang, 18, was found injured on the side of the road near the intersection of 32nd Street and Mitchell Avenue on July 4, 2015. He was riding his bike early that morning to the Greyhound bus station. He was going to catch a bus to the Calgary Stampede.

Wang was badly injured in the crash. He suffered broken bones and head trauma, as blood had been cut off from his brain because of the crash.

He was taken to the Red Deer Regional Hospital, where he was stabilized. He was then flown by Stars Air Ambulance to Edmonton.

Wang was in a coma for a month, but has slowly recovered.

At the time of the crash, Wang was enrolled in the University of Alberta engineering program. Since then he has worked on regaining many basic functions and is still dealing with his speaking abilities.

A report submitted as part of the sentencing hearing said Wang suffered from numerous deficits including communication, a balance impairment and post-traumatic amnesia.

Petty waved down another driver to call 911, as he did not have his phone at the time. Petty was driving from a friend’s house, where he had a couple of drinks.

On top of the one-year prison sentence, Petty is subject to a three-year driving prohibition.

mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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