Weekend jail time, fine for crash that resulted from speeds of 200 km/h

By on September 11, 2017
Kamloops law courts (file photo).

By: Cam Fortems (Kamloops This Week)

The 21-year-old driver of a Mercedes that passed traffic on Highway 97C between Kelowna and Merritt, reaching speeds as high as 200 km/h, “changed people involved forever,” according to a Kamloops provincial court judge.

In October 2015, the red Mercedes attempted to squeeze between a Mazda in the passing lane and a semi-trailer in the slow lane, slamming into the rear of the truck and pushing the small car into the median, where it rolled and landed on its roof.

Tyler Shenley Orr pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing bodily harm in connection with the Oct. 16, 2015, incident.

Both the driver and passenger of the Mazda were seriously injured. Driver David Neufeldt received traumatic head injuries and can now only work for two days per week at his engineering management position, said Crown prosecutor Abel Fok.

Fok said drivers on the highway reported they had to swerve out of the way to avoid Orr’s speeding car. They told police he was driving “‘like he was on a racetrack.’”

Fok and defence lawyer Kevin Westell made a joint submission for 90 days jail, served intermittently, and a two-year driving ban.

Orr has no criminal record and only a ticket for failing to display his “N” several years before as a novice driver.

Westell said Orr also received less traumatic head injuries, noting his family reports he is more irritable and moody since the accident.

“Although he has very little memory, he’s prepared to accept unequivocally the driving pattern,” Westell said.

Now 23, Orr works in First Nations consultancy in the Lower Mainland and expects to move into investor-relations work.

After seeing photos of the aftermath, provincial court judge Stella Frame told Orr: “I’m amazed you’re alive and standing here.”

She called the estimated 200 km/h “an incredible speed.”

“It’s a sense of entitlement that you had driving a vehicle on a highway with all those people subject to the whims of your actions,” Frame said.

She agreed to the joint submission that will see Orr serve his jail time on weekends.

Orr must also pay $1,300 restitution for personal items damaged in the crash. He is expected to face far more serious monetary penalties in civil court.

One Comment

  1. glen rutherford

    September 12, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    a two year driving suspension is an insult to those seriously injured by this man. He should never drive again. Police seem motivated to give out seatbelt fines and ignore the dangerous drivers. It’s disheartening to see that they never seem to go after tailgaters, especially those “professional” operators driving commercial trucks who should be driving responsibly.

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