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

Okanagan Eats back for another year

Okanagan Eats features vendors, chef demos, and so much more. This isn’t your average food show.

Kelowna landfill flooding

The ground is soggy at the Kelowna landfill

Open letter to Premier John Horgan

LETTER: Group called First Things First Okanagan promotes action on climate change

Lake Country to get a new winery

A development proposal was approved Tuesday by council

Kelowna social housing project revised

BC Housing tries to mitigate neighbouring concerns

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

Salmon Arm RCMP arrest one male on child pornography charges

Search of Canoe residence leads to seizure of computers

Highway 33 to re-open Friday

Traffic expected to resume at around 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

New funds, recruits set to alleviate B.C. sheriff shortage

The Government of British Columbia announced new sheriff graduates, funding for more classes

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

UPDATED: Unions, CP Rail come to agreement, avoiding work stoppage

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

B.C. court relies on Facebook to track down missing defendant

A court in Princeton, B.C. relied on Facebook to track down a B.C. missing his court date

Most Read