Brandon van Zyl had his impaired driving charges withdrawn by the Crown Monday in court and a dangerous driving charge downgraded to careless driving.
Van Zyl was driving a Maserati on Stellarton Road when he lost control of his vehicle and hit a Ford F-150, sending one man, Ernie McInnis, to hospital. Van Zyl walked away from the accident unharmed.
Witnesses said they often saw van Zyl driving his Maserati carelessly through the area.
Van Zyl pleaded guilty to a careless driving charge following a joint recommendation by the Crown and defence.
He received a $1,000 fine, $150 victim surcharge and six-month driving prohibition.
Defence lawyer Craig Clarke said it was the appropriate decision.
“We had good open discussions with them about the nature of the case and they certainly worked co-operatively with us and as a result we were able to come to an agreement and get the matter resolved,” he said.
He said he was pleased with the outcome.
“Anytime that you can get a matter resolved in an effective way with the Crown it’s good to get it resolved and try to get the matter behind the people so they can move on.”
McInnis, who was driving the truck that was struck, does not feel he can move on just yet though. He said he still has mobility issues as a result of the crash that sent his vehicle flying into a telephone pole. He said he feels this is a case of a criminal being caught red handed and walking away scot-free.
“There’s really not much to be happy about that,” he said.
McInnis remembers the day of the crash watching the Maserati speed towards him. He said he kept looking behind it to see what the guy was running away from.
“I was just baffled,” he said. “I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.”
He said he doesn’t think that Van Zyl hit his brakes at all, but believes the man tried to steer himself out of his slide.
“He just tried to be a big guy and power out of it,” he said.
McInnis said his wife (who was not in the vehicle) was four months pregnant at the time of the crash and two months later gave birth to a premature child in Halifax. He was in no shape, however, to go back and forth to visit and help care for his wife and new child.
“We’ve been under a lot of stress,” he said.
His only consolation is the bad press the driver has received in this incident, but he says he’d rather have seen him face the music.
“I wanted him to face the charges and maybe do some community service.”
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