A drunk driver who killed two people and left two others badly hurt has had his prison sentence reduced to seven years from 10. That’s in spite of the fact that Ontario’s top court rejected the man’s argument that he deserved more leniency due to his Indigenous status.
In a split decision yesterday, the Ontario Court of Appeal said the sentencing judge had been too harsh on Scott Altiman, who pleaded guilty to charges including impaired driving causing death and criminal negligence. The court says the 10-year sentence would have been appropriate for someone who had a criminal or driving offence record, which Altiman did not.
Background from the London Free Press:
Altiman, 34, pleaded guilty in June 2017 to two counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm nine months after spectacular early morning two-car crash at the intersection of Dundas Street and Highbury Avenue on Sept. 8, 2016.
Altiman was driving his Dodge Charger erratically and the wrong way in the southbound lanes of Highbury Avenue before he turned around raced toward the intersection. He ran a red light at 187 km/h and collided with a Buick Grand National driven by Eric Allensen.
The force of the crash was so powerful that Allensen’s car was launched into the air and into a utility pole, cutting the car in half. Cody Andrews and Pitre were in the back seat and died at the crash scene. Allensen and his girlfriend, Carlie Mathews, were critically injured, but survived.
Altiman’s car ended up slamming into two front porches on Highbury Avenue and caught fire. He was snoring when he was extricated from the car by firefighters and also suffered serious injuries. An open tall-boy beer and an empty light beer bottle were found in the car.
His blood-alcohol level was 175 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, more than twice the legal limit.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: Jane Sims via London Free Press