Another Estevan man charged with dangerous driving is looking at jail time.
Evan Garrow, a 22-year-old Estevan man, pleaded guilty last Thursday to charges of dangerous driving and theft under $5,000. The matter was set for trial, but the guilty pleas were entered and the defence and Crown prosecutor presented a joint submission to Judge Karl Bazin. Their submissions called for a four-month jail term.
Just days before Garrow’s matter at Estevan provincial court, Estevan resident Justin Yakimchuk received 18 months of jail for dangerous driving causing bodily harm. While the charges against Garrow aren’t as serious, as they are only for dangerous driving, Bazin still questioned the large variance of sentence asked for in this matter of four months, 14 months less than what Yakimchuk received.
“That’s a serious offence, the facts you’ve outlined,” Bazin told the Crown prosecutor. “There has to be parity. There has to be some sense that everyone is treated the same.”
Greg Wilson, Garrow’s Legal Aid lawyer, told the judge in the matter where the accused received 18 months in jail, there was a collision with another car and two injured people as a result.
The Crown prosecutor told the court that Garrow had stolen a vehicle in June 2011, after finding a car parked with the keys in the ignition. The owner of the vehicle had entered a local restaurant.
Estevan Police Service members were alerted to Garrow by his erratic driving and activated their emergency lights for a traffic stop. That’s when Garrow fled in the vehicle, heading out of town on Highway 39.
“The accused veered into oncoming traffic on the highway and drove without headlights,” said the Crown. “At one point in time, the accused extended his arm out the window and gave the police car the middle finger.”
The pursuit lasted from Estevan to Weyburn, about 80 kilometres, and Garrow reached speeds of about 170 kilometres per hour. The Weyburn RCMP were called to assist in the chase and they laid out a spike belt on the highway, which the vehicle struck with its front passenger tire.
That slowed Garrow’s vehicle down to about 120 kilometres per hour.
The vehicle chase ended after entering Weyburn where Garrow struck two barricades, eventually becoming hung up on a water pipe that was being used to pump water across the highway.
Garrow got out of the car and a chase on foot ensued, but he was quickly caught and arrested.
Before passing sentence, Bazin said he wanted to further review the Yakimchuk decision, and receive further submissions from the Crown and defence on the range of penalty that Garrow could reasonably receive.
The matter was adjourned until Aug. 9.