Sentencing recommendations for Dylan Beauclair were heard in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench on Thursday. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Sentencing to come for deadly crash near Red Deer

Dangerous driving causing two deaths

A Red Deer man convicted in the death of two of his passengers, and injuries to two more, in a crash on Canada Day 2016 will have to wait about two-and-half weeks to learn his sentence.

On Thursday in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench, the Crown called for about four years in prison for Dylan Beauclair, while defence recommended a 2.5-year sentence.

Earlier this year, Beauclair, 21, was found guilty of two counts each of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Beauclair was driving at least 120 km/h before losing control on a rural road just east of the city and smashed into a utility pole.

Rear passengers Ashleigh Smith, 16, of Springbrook, and John Dolliver, 18, of Penhold, were thrown from the 2008 Grand Prix and died at the scene of the collision around 11:25 p.m.

Lexie Martin, 17 at the time, suffered three broken ribs, back fractures and facial injuries. Shaylene Taberner, also 17, had neck and back injuries.

Crown prosecutor Aleksandra Simic said Beauclair showed a persistent and reckless driving pattern with “excessive speeding and ignorance of numerous warning signs” that included signs and different sets of rumble strips.

She said the survivors were left with lasting injuries, both physically and mentally, and while on release before his trial, Beauclair received two speeding tickets.

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Ten victim impact statements were read out in court. Some had to be read by Simic when the victim’s relatives were overcome with grief.

Peter Smith, Ashleigh’s dad, said he is still in counselling to deal with the death of his only daughter.

“There is a part of me that died that night and I’m empty inside,” said Peter who struggled to contain his composure while reading his letter.

Ashleigh’s mom Tanus Smith told the court her daughter’s death was due to the reckless and dangerous actions of another.

She recalled the text she got from her daughter prior to the crash, “On my way home mommy. See you soon.”

“Nothing is the same anymore, our lives ruined,” said Tanus who is also still in counselling.

Tammy Dolliver, John’s mom, said in a letter read out in court that meeting new people is difficult.

“How many children do you have? That’s the dreaded question,” the mother said.

She said family milestones will ever feel the same. She asked the court to not let her son become just another statistic.

“Our lives are forever changed,” her letter read.

Beauclair apologized to the court and said he would do anything to change what happened that night.

“Sorry doesn’t even begin to come close to the remorse I hold onto every day,” Beauclair said in shaky voice.

Simic recommended a 10-year driving prohibition, while defence lawyer Donna Derie-Gillespie wanted five years.

Derie-Gillespie argued that there were only about 14 seconds of bad driving from the first rumble strip to the crash, and according to the pre-sentence report her client was a suitable candidate for community supervision.

Justice Bill Hopkins will render his decision on Sept. 3.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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