House arrest for Alberta driver who drunkenly caused head-on collision on Highway 5

27 beer cans found in crash

An Alberta man who was driving drunk when he caused a head-on crash near Clearwater, injuring two people and killing a puppy, has been ordered to spend the next nine months on house arrest.

Leon Robert Allen Calliou, 26, pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court on Monday to one count of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

Court heard Calliou was driving a beige Buick SUV on the afternoon of Jan. 10, 2021, when he attempted to make an unsafe pass in the Vavenby area, colliding with an oncoming Dodge Durango.

Calliou was seriously injured in the collision. Both occupants of the Durango were also hurt — the driver was left with ankle injuries that led to four surgeries and the passenger suffered a concussion.

The couple in the Durango was transporting five puppies. One of the dogs died in the crash and another was injured.

Crown prosecutor Alexandra Janse said police found 27 beer cans in the Buick, 15 of them empty. Calliou was taken to hospital by air ambulance, at which time testing determined his blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was between 0.132 and 0.175 — well over the legal limit of 0.08.

Janse said Mounties also found a large bag of dried cannabis in the vehicle. Testing showed Calliou had THC in his system but court heard there was no evidence he was high.

Defence lawyer David Wolsey said Calliou’s injuries were severe. He said he recently had his ninth surgery scheduled.

“The injuries will be there for the rest of his life,” he said. “He has a number of metal plates in his body.”

Calliou lives in Leduc County, outside Edmonton. He is unemployed and hopes to attend university to study anthropology.

"I made a poor decision and I tried to reflect my regret of that ever since,” he said. "I have been completely just focusing on being a better person and better role model. I apologize.”

Kamloops provincial court Judge Roy Dickey went along with a joint submission for a nine-month conditional sentence order, which will be served under house arrest at Calliou’s family home in Alberta.

Calliou was also issued a two-year driving prohibition.

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