An impaired driver was going 130 km in a 40 km/hr zone when he totalled his truck, leaving his passenger paralyzed from the waist down, a Bracebridge court heard recently.
Steven Brazier, 32, was in court earlier this week, where lawyers for the Crown and defence made their sentencing submissions after Brazier pled guilty to impaired driving causing bodily harm.
Court heard that on Aug. 20, 2021, at roughly 11:40 pm Brazier and another man were driving on Milford Bay Road when Brazier lost control of the pick-up truck he was driving. The truck crossed the road and went into the ditch colliding with a granite outcropping. The truck then rolled over completely and came to rest on its wheels.
Witnesses saw Brazier leaving the scene and described him as visibly intoxicated and “walking like a zombie,” court heard.
The passenger in the vehicle was left badly injured, eventually being airlifted to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. He was ultimately left paralyzed from the waist down and will be in a wheelchair for the remainder of his life, court heard.
At roughly 12:40 am police discovered Brazier nearby. The police found an imprint of the steering wheel in his chest and suspected that he was driving while impaired, which subsequent blood tests later confirmed.
An analysis of the airbag mechanism in the truck determined that Brazier had been driving at 130 km an hour in a posted 40 km/hr zone five seconds before the collision, court heard.
Court heard both men had been at a social gathering prior to the crash. The victim had said he was too impaired to drive home but Brazier had indicated that he was capable of driving home, court heard.
Crown W. Barnes said Brazier has a previous conviction for impaired driving, which is a significant aggravating factor. He said it is also aggravating that the injuries sustained were on the highest end of the scale, and he submitted impact statements from the victim’s family. He argued for a sentence of three years in jail plus a three-year driving ban.
The defence argued for a sentence of two years in jail plus a day and a three-year driving ban. The defence pointed out that Brazier has never been to jail before, he is hard working and has tremendous support from friends and family.
Brazier also addressed the court and apologized for his actions.
“I feel terrible for what happened and for everyone who’s been affected by it,” he said. “I pray for him and hope he can get better.”
Justice Sarah Tarcza said she would need time to consider an appropriate sentence. She will return with her decision on March 15.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!