A repeat drunk driver who caused a violent accident at more than 200 kilometres an hour was sentenced Friday to 18 months in jail.

On June 5, 2009, Darren Allen Shrumm’s blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit when he left a tournament at the Calahoo Hills Golf Course in his 2004 Chevrolet Silverado. The 35-year-old Edmonton man drove north on Highway 779 before heading east on Highway 37.

Around 4:30 p.m., 29-year-old Donovan Benoit turned onto Highway 37 in his Ford Fusion. Benoit had only driven a short distance when Shrumm’s truck slammed into the back of his car.

Both men were taken to University Hospital, Benoit by helicopter and Shrumm by ground ambulance. Benoit suffered serious injuries — including 10 broken ribs, spinal injuries and a deep cut to his scalp —and spent nearly two weeks in hospital. Both vehicles were destroyed.

“It is miraculous that no one was killed,” said Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Russell Brown. “It was a stupid and selfish act with terrible consequences.”

RCMP determined Shrumm was travelling at 202 km/h in the seconds before he rear-ended Benoit’s car. Brown said that high speed, and Shrumm’s severe intoxication, were particularly aggravating.

“He was a menace,” Brown said of Shrumm, who has already been suspended from driving for three years. After his prison term ends, he will be on probation for two years, during which he must undergo addiction counselling and stay away from alcohol. Shrumm must also complete 240 hours of community service.

Shrumm has a history of drunk driving and speeding. He was convicted of driving while impaired in 2000 and 2005, and has three speeding violations in the past decade.

In April, Shrumm pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing bodily harm.

Shortly before he was sentenced, an emotional Shrumm stood up in the prisoner’s box and addressed the court.

“I deserve anything you give me,” he told the judge.

Source: The Edmonton Journal



Last updated on: 2013-07-21 | Link to this post