Trucker gets 3 years for fatal crash in Kootenays

3 years for fatal hwy crash

An experienced long-haul trucker with 46 driving infractions on his record will spend three years behind bars for causing the death of a Kootenay man five years ago.

Myles Regan Parsons, 61, was found guilty of one count of dangerous driving causing death in an incident that claimed the life of Michael McIsaac.

In handing down the sentence, BC Supreme Court Justice Gordon Weatherill noted Parsons' "lengthy prior record of poor driving, including 22 speeding offences," four of which were for excessive speed.

The incident which claimed McIsaac's life occurred July 14, 2016 on Highway 3B, just east of Fruitvale.

According to trial testimony, Parsons was behind the wheel of a B-Train unit travelling west along Highway 3B east of Fruitvale.

He was pulling two trailers loaded with crushed vehicles when he entered a right curve at "an excessive speed that caused his trailers, and the load they were carrying to spill onto the highway and strike a pickup truck travelling in the opposite direction."

McIsaac, the driver of the pickup, was killed as a result.

Justice Weatherill stated the posted speed limit was 70 km/h, with a speed advisory to reduce speeds to 60 km/h for the pending curve.

"Evidence accepted at trial was the Mr. Parsons was travelling at a speed of 94 km/h at the time of the crash," Justice Weatherill stated.

Crown counsel in the case asked for a sentence of between three-and-a-half and five years with a 10-year driving ban, while the defence argued for 12 to 18 months and a two to three year driving prohibition.

The Crown argued similarities between this case and crash which claimed 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team on April 6, 2018.

They noted in both cases, drivers were given ample warning to slow down or stop, and the drivers in both circumstances ignored those warnings, and that the period of inattention was significant, not momentary.

Defence counsel, speaking on Parsons' behalf, told the court what happened was "senseless," that he is haunted by what happened, and has had thoughts of suicide.

While rendering his decision, Justice Weatherill stated sentencing must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender.

"The outcome was the tragic loss of a young, innocent life, and the devastating impact that loss has had on his family and his friends.

"Although it cannot be discerned from his record how many of his driving offences occurred while he was driving professionally, the locations of the offences suggest that they probably were. His driving record shows that he has yet to learn from his poor driving record."

Along with three years in jail, Parsons has been prohibited from driving for five years and must submit a DNA sample.

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