Kamloops this Week

No jail time for overdose crash near Kamloops

A Kamloops man avoids jail following a overdose crash on Trans-Canada Highway

  • Nov. 14, 2017 4:25 p.m.

—- Kamloops this Week

A Kamloops man who overdosed on a sedative street drug while driving on the Trans-Canada Highway between Dallas and Pritchard has avoided jail.

But Roald Daniel Van Der Merwe, 26, will spend six months living under strict court-ordered conditions after pleading guilty in Kamloops provincial court Tuesday to one count of dangerous driving.

Court heard police received multiple reports of an erratic driver eastbound on the Trans-Canada Highway near Pat Road on the afternoon of Nov. 28, 2016. When a police officer caught up to the vehicle, she observed it “slaloming” between lanes and fluctuating in speed between 5 km/h and 80 km/h.

After five minutes, police called off the pursuit. Van Der Merwe’s vehicle, a Jeep, continued along the highway and drove through a construction zone, knocking over 14 pylons and striking equipment.

The Jeep left the roadway a short time later, slamming into the concrete divider and then veering into the ditch.

The RCMP constable approached the vehicle when she arrived at the scene of the crash.

“There was no odour of alcohol on the driver’s breath, but he did have vomit on his lap,” Crown prosecutor Frank Caputo said, noting doctors gave Van Der Merwe two doses of Naloxone at Royal Inland Hospital.

Caputo said he would have sought jail time if not for Van Der Merwe’s lack of a criminal record.

Defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen said Van Der Merwe tried GHB — also known as the date-rape drug — for the first time a short time before the highway demolition derby.

“He’s fully aware of how lucky he was that no one was injured,” Jensen said. “He’s been entirely sober since.”

Van Der Merwe apologized in court.

“I highly regret what happened and I understand that my substance abuse problem has taken a lot of things from me,” he said. “I’m very happy to know nobody was injured.”

In addition to the conditional sentence order, Van Der Merwe will also be bound by a one-year driving ban.

Just Posted

Freezing rain expected on the Coquihalla

Wet weather expected to cause issues on B.C. highways

Summerland business provides cannabidiol products

Products contain medical benefits of cannabis, but with no psychoactive properties

Penticton reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Woman pushed after confronting alleged drug users

Woman approached in “aggressive manner” behind shopping centre.

Thieves target Okanagan Falls wineries

Police suspect two thefts from Okanagan Falls wineries may be related

Tattooing couple opens new shop in Lake Country

Cody and Fabiana Philpott opened NSI Tattoo in August

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Penticton Indian Band returns to the polls

The PIB is going to a byelection to fill empty seats on band council

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

Barker brings a mix of comedy and magic to Dream Café

Wes Barker is performing in Penticton on Nov. 24

Fintry Queen still looking for a home

Fintry Queen owner wants the tourist vessel in the Penticton Parks and Rec master plan discussions

Major grant bolsters Penticton doctors research on pain

Local research team is headed by Penticton rheumatologist

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

Most Read