Driver who hit teen cyclist pleads guilty

Not wanting to wait around for a decision on his sentence, a Red Deer man surrendered himself into custody for the tragic collision that injured a local teen.

Not wanting to wait around for a decision on his sentence, a Red Deer man surrendered himself into custody for the tragic collision that injured a local teen.

Eric William Petty, 26, will be held in custody while judge John Holmes reviews sentencing submissions from both Crown Prosecutor Katie Clarey and defence counsel Chad Evans.

Petty pleaded guilty to one count of refusing a breath demand causing bodily harm. Dery Wang, 18, was severely injured while biking to the Greyhound bus station on July 4, 2015.

Wang was on his way to the Calgary Stampede when he was hit by a car. Petty was with friends that evening and had a few drinks. He was westbound on 32nd Street, driving in the right hand lane above the speed limit, near Mitchell Avenue where the collision occurred.

Petty did wave down another driver to call 911 as he could not find his phone.

Wang suffered a severe injury to his brain and is recovering at the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury in Ponoka.

Clarey said Wang has gone from enrolling in the University of Alberta engineering program to being on life support, to a coma, to now 100 per cent unintelligible.

A report on Wang’s progress submitted on Tuesday said Wang is suffering from numerous deficits including communication, a balance impairment and post-traumatic amnesia.

Clarey is seeking a sentence of 12 to 15 months of jail followed by probation and a driving prohibition. Evans is instead seeking a jail sentence of three to six months, but followed by probation and a driving prohibition.

The sentencing hearing was conducted on Tuesday in Red Deer provincial court.

Complicating proceedings was a dearth of case law around the charge. Clarey instead used several cases with convictions for impaired or dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Clarey and Evans agreed that Petty is very remorseful for the incident and provided a statement to police right after.

Holmes reserved his decision until mid-February.

Petty, conceding he would face jail regardless, surrendered himself into custody and will start serving his sentence before the judge gives his decision.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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