The Court of Queen’s Bench Judge calls it the most difficult case he has ever faced. Wednesday, Brenden Holubowich was sentenced to three years in prison for the crash that killed four Grande Prairie teenagers. Global News takes a closer look at the details considered in the decision.


OCT 21, 2011 6pm – Brenden Holubowich arrives at the Bowling Stones bowling alley in Grande Prairie and stays for several hours. He consumes food and alcohol.

OCT 21, 2011 11:40pm – Holubowich leaves the bowling alley and drops off his friend at home.

OCT 21, 2011 11:50pm – Holubowich leaves his friend’s house and starts driving to his home in Wembley, just outside of Grande Prairie.

OCT 21, 2011 – At the same time, a party is taking place at a residence on Secondary Highway 668. Matthew Deller, Zachary Judd, Walter Borden-Wilkins, Tanner Hildebrand and Vincent Stover are at this party.

OCT 21, 2011 11:55pm – Deller, Judd, Borden-Wilkins, Hildebrand, and Stover leave the party. Deller drives them in his car. They turn onto Secondary Highway 668 heading west.

OCT 21, 2011 11:58 pm – Deller begins a U-turn in front of a nearby business Kinetic Transport. Holubowich is driving his truck westbound on Secondary Highway 668 at speeds up to 151 kilometres per hour (the speed limit is 80 km/hr).
Holubowich’s truck – traveling 120 km/h - collides with the rear driver’s side of Deller’s car.

As a result of the crash, Matthew Deller, 16, Walter Borden-Wilkins, 16, Tanner Hildebrand, 15 and Vincent Stover, 16, are killed. Zachary Judd, 15, suffers a severe head injury.

A toxicologist with the Medical Examiner’s Office determines Deller had no alcohol or drugs in his body at the time of his death.

OCT 21, 2011 11:59 pm – Immediately following the collision, Holubowich leaves the scene on foot and runs to his workplace, a business located just west of the crash scene.

OCT 22, 2011 1:10 am – RCMP members locate Holubowich at his workplace.

OCT 23, 2011 – RCMP lay 11 charges against Holubowich, including impaired driving causing death and failure to remain at the scene.

OCT 31, 2011 – Holubowich reserves plea; filing a designation with his lawyer.

JAN 9, 2012 – Holubowich chooses to be tried by a judge alone.

JAN 18, 2012 – Holubowich faces five additional charges. Five counts related to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle are added to the 11 original charges.

AUG 27, 2012 – The preliminary hearing for Holubowich is scheduled to begin. He has pleaded not guilty to 16 charges related to crash.

AUG 31, 2012 – A judge rules that Holubowich is allowed to drive again because he needs to get from his home outside Grande Prairie to his workplace in the city.

FEB 26, 2013 – Holubowich, 23, pleads guilty to four counts of dangerous driving causing death and one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nearly a dozen victim impact statements are read. The Crown and the Defence put forward a joint sentencing recommendation of three years of incarceration and a three year driving prohibition. Victims' family members express their dissatisfaction with the submission to Crown Prosecutor Jason Neustaeter. The Crown mentions their concerns to the Judge.

FEB 27, 2013 – Holubowich is sentenced to three years in prison followed by a three year driving prohibition. Justice William Tilleman says it was the toughest case he’s ever faced.

(The full Agreed Statement of Facts below)

“This is the most difficult case I have faced as a judge,” he said Wednesday.

“I have read and re-read the victim impact statements,” Justice Tilleman explained, “words were so deeply personal that I will never forget them.”

The Court of Queen’s Bench Judge eyes filled with tears when he told court he sympathized with the victims’ families. He said he struggled with his decision and at one point considered a longer period behind bars, however, “I am bound by Parliament and I’m also bound by courts higher than me,” he explained.

“I am constrained to accept the joint submission.”

Justice Tilleman told court he felt for all families involved.

“There is another family whose pain needs to be acknowledged,” he said, pointing to Holubowich, “it’s yours.”

Following the sentencing, Holubowich’s mother made a statement on behalf of the family.

“The accident on October 22 resulted in a terrible tragedy, a tragedy that deeply affected many families and people in this community,” said Teresa Bateman. “Nothing I say in this statement can dull the facts of that night.”

“We can never fully understand, as our family, as Brenden’s family, what this was like for those families, or how long the road will be for them towards recovery,” she said.

“We can however, finally at this point in the legal process, open our hearts and share a seldom heard or recognized perspective from another family involved in this accident, and that’s Brenden’s family, and we can apologize.”

“As Brenden’s mom, and on behalf of his loving family, we sincerely extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mathew Deller, Walter Borden-Wilkins, Tanner Hildebrand, and Vincent Stover, and to the family and friends of Zachary Judd for the pain and difficulties associated with his injuries,” Bateman added.

“No matter how much we might pray, hope or wish that it isn’t so, this tragedy can never be reversed, and for this, we are sorry.”

“Truly, if accidents like this one don’t change our behaviour, and don’t change us as a society, something is wrong,” she stressed. “We need to challenge behaviours, actions, and the norms that we accept today.”

Agreed Statement of Facts  

Source: Global Edmonton


Last updated on: 2013-02-28 | Link to this post