A Trail senior is serving two years in jail after being found guilty of criminal negligence causing death in a traffic collision that occurred at a Highway 3B turn-off near the mall three years ago.
Theodore Finlay Levick, 86, was taken into custody after Supreme Court Justice M. Tammen sentenced him in the Rossland courthouse on Sept. 6.
Following a trial by judge in March of this year, Levick, who is legally blind and had no driver’s licence, was convicted of criminal negligence in the death of Meaghan Brown on July 25, 2016.
Brown was on her new Suzuki motorcycle headed westbound toward her job in Trail at approximately 5:40 a.m.
Levick was travelling east on Highway 3B toward the Waneta Plaza, when he failed to yield to right-of-way traffic and turned left off the highway into a mall entrance. According to court documents, a witness recognized Levick as “somebody who came through Tim Hortons drive-through regularly.”
Brown died at the scene that morning, two days shy of her 28th birthday.
Two witnesses gave testimony and two collision reconstructionists provided evidence for the prosecution. The eight-page reconstructionist report includes many details, coloured photographs, and notes, “the weather was clear and dry.”
In addition to a two-year jail term, Judge Tammen also sentenced Levick to a lifetime prohibition from driving.
This ruling came down after the prosecution’s case highlighted the fact that Levick was declared legally blind in July 2001 and had no licence to drive. (“Legal blindness” is defined as vision 20-200 or worse)
On the date of the crash, he had not been lawfully licenced to drive a motor vehicle for 15 years.
A critical prong of the Crown’s case was the medical evidence given by three doctors concerning Levick’s vision for the 15-years prior to the collision.
Court papers reveal he suffers from diabetes. In particular, Levick has a condition called diabetic retinopathy, which led to him being declared medically unfit to drive in July 2001.
He has not been licenced since August 2001.
Judge Tammen’s decision reads: “On the totality of evidence, I am satisfied the conduct of the accused driving in the manner he did, in his medical condition, showed wanton and reckless disregard for the life and safety of others. With full knowledge of his extreme visual impairment and the attendant risks, the accused chose to drive.
“The mere act of setting out behind the wheel that day would constitute reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others. I find the accused guilty.”
Further, the judge stated, “… The actions of the accused in driving in the manner in which he did, knowing his vision was significantly impaired, engaged in inherent dangerous activity with attendant risks far greater than those usually associated with driving a motor vehicle.
“Any reasonable person armed with the knowledge possessed by this accused would have foreseen the very real risk of causing an accident in which bodily harm would ensue. Moreover, I am satisfied that this accused was subjectively aware of that risk. His moral blameworthiness is therefore high.“
Court documents did not reveal whose car Levick was driving that morning, though it was identified as a 2014 Suburu Forester. Meaghan Brown was driving a 2016 Suzuki V-Strom motorcycle.