Kelly James York pleads guilty to impaired driving causing death

The family of a Calgary-area resident heard for the first time Wednesday how he vainly tried to avoid the collision which took his life.

Crown prosecutor Jonathan Hak told court Tony Harrison attempted to get out of the way of an oncoming mini van, but didn’t have enough time to do so.

Hak said because the roadway where Harrison was killed on July 15, 2012 was curved, he wouldn’t have been able to tell the other vehicle was driving in his lane.

The prosecutor said when the Chestermere resident did, he laid his bike down, but not soon enough to avoid a head-on collision with motorist Kelly James York, 43.

York — who was scheduled to face a three-day preliminary inquiry — pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death in connection with the crash.

Harrison’s sister, Karen, was one of several relatives in court anticipating a preliminary inquiry for York who heard the details of the deadly collision for the first time.

“It was a bit shocking to find out the circumstances of the crash,” Karen Harrison said, outside court.

“To know my brother did everything possible to save his own life,” she said.

“That was difficult for all of us here.”

The dead man’s daughter, Brittney, said she was glad York entered his guilty plea, saving grieving relatives having to sit through days of evidence in both a preliminary inquiry and trial.

“We think it’s good that he’s going to be put away a bit sooner now,” she said.

But the family isn’t pleased at the prospect York, who has a related record, is looking at a four- to six-year term in their estimation.

“Our justice system is cruel when it comes to drinking and driving (sentences),” Karen Harrison said.

Hak told provincial court Judge Paul Mason the deadly collision occurred in the 8200 block of 17 Ave. S.E. around 2 a.m.

Harrison, 45, was eastbound on a Victory motorcycle when he collided head-on with York’s van, which was westbound, but driving in the eastbound lanes.

York later provided two samples of his breath, with readings of 240 and 250 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, triple the legal driving level.

At defence counsel Alain Hepner’s request, Mason ordered a pre-sentence probation report as well as a psychiatric assessment.

Sentencing submissions are scheduled for Feb. 6.

York remains free pending a sentencing decision by Mason.

Source: The Calgary Sun




Last updated on: 2014-06-14 | Link to this post