A Toronto man found guilty of dangerous driving causing death was sentenced to 17 months and 24 days in prison after the car he was driving crashed in 2016, killing his friend.
Warren Ferns was sentenced to two years with credit for time served. The 26-year-old was originally facing an impaired driving charge causing death but was acquitted because the judge could not conclude for sure that Ferns was impaired by alcohol.
Fern’s calculated blood-alcohol concentration at the time of the incident was between 57 and 130 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, Justice Jane Kelly said. At the time, he also held a G2 licence, which meant Ferns should not have had any alcohol before getting into the vehicle and driving.
On Sept. 5, 2016, at around 2:20 a.m., Ferns, then 24, was driving his 2004 Mazda northbound on Mount Pleasant Road when he lost control of the car with three friends inside.
At the trial in November 2018, Eric Hovland testified that he worked with Ferns at the Marigold Indian Bistro, where Ferns was a delivery driver. He testified that he and Ferns, along with Akhil Sankeshwar and another friend, went to Crocodile Rock around 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 4, 2016 after finishing their shift.
Hovland, who was 17 at the time, testified at the trial that all four friends had two beers and a shot or two of rum. At around 2 a.m., the four men headed home in Fern’s car.
Sankeshwar was in the back seat behind Ferns. Hovland told the court they were talking among themselves and listening to music when the car suddenly jerked to the right and then turned left before skidding down the road. He estimated the car was travelling between 60 and 80 kilometres an hour before crashing into a concrete pole.
Hovland testified that Sankeshwar, who worked at the Marriott hotel in Markham, never got out of the car.
“We realized he was hurt. We were just saying his name,” Hovland said.
Sankeshwar died of his injuries shortly after the crash. An autopsy found he was killed from blunt-force trauma to the head.
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Ferns is also prohibited from driving for five years but with credit for the time he was prohibited from driving while he was out on bail, that time has been reduced to 27 months and 25 days.
He will be on probation for two years.
Kelly said Ferns has shown remorse and is doing his best to become a better citizen.
Ferns had pleaded not guilty and was out on bail.
—With files from Ryan Rocca
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