A Penticton man who drove over a motorcyclist, nearly killing him, will spend a year in jail.
Bryson Noah Daniels, 22, appeared Aug. 1 in provincial court in Penticton where he delivered an emotional address to the court before hearing his fate for the charge of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
The presiding judge spoke repeatedly on the importance of denouncing impaired driving, particularly when it causes bodily harm.
“Daniels’ offending behaviour has had a devastating impact, forever shattering the future of an entire family,” said the judge.
“His behaviour went beyond merely passing the threshold of simple impaired or dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
“Instead, it conveyed a deliberate disregard for the well-being and safety of others resulting in significant harm.
“Not only did he hurt Mr. Seeley and his family, he also endangered the safety of others in our community.”
Jeff Seeley, a triathlete, was on his way home in October 2021. He was just about to turn towards home when Daniels drove into him, knocking him off his motorcycle.
Daniels didn’t stop, and his vehicle continued on until it was on top of Seeley’s body.
It took a heroic effort from witnesses and neighbours to lift the vehicle off of Seeley, and then multiple surgeries to repair a severed artery and save his life.
Seeley also suffered multiple broken ribs, and third degree burns to his arms from where he was pinned against the exhaust of Daniels’ vehicle.
”Mr. Seely, a dedicated triathlete who took immense pride in maintaining his physical fitness and completing numerous marathons, also found great satisfaction in his flawless employment records,” the judge said.
But since the incident, he has been left unable to participate in competitive sports and can no longer work. Over a year later, he endures daily headaches and relies on ongoing medical care to manage his chronic pain.
“His future remains uncertain.”
Witnesses reported that Daniels had been driving dangerously well prior to the crash, including at one point going twice the legal speed limit down Penticton’s Main Street.
The judge cited Daniels’ initial attempts at evading blame, including attempts to shift it onto his victim at the scene to witnesses and police, as well as lying multiple times about drinking and using marijuana before driving.
He also noted that even after pleading guilty to the one charge of impaired driving causing bodily harm, during the initial interviews with the pre-sentence report author Daniels was reluctant to take responsibility for the crash.
In his address to the court, Daniels expressed his remorse for what happened, adding that he was certain that if he had not been drinking then the crash would have never happened.
“I’m ashamed and embarrassed,” said Daniels. “I promise, I will do everything, each day so nothing like this ever happens again.”
He stated he has been living alcohol-free, although he continued to use marijuana.
Following the one-year jail sentence, Daniels will spend 18 months under probation. He will also be banned from driving for two years following his release.
He will also be banned from consuming alcohol or using marijuana except if prescribed by a doctor.
“You’ve got such a long life ahead of you and I think the quicker we can make you a more productive member of the society, that has to be a focus of this sentencing as well,” said the judge.
“I’m quite confident with the treatment and counseling that you’re going to get during your probationary period and any treatment and counseling that you will get in the institution. ”