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Driver pleads guilty in fatal crash

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A Winnipeg man has taken responsibility for a drunken smashup on McPhillips Street in 2013 that killed a senior citizen.

Adam Langan, 30, has pleaded guilty in provincial court to impaired driving causing the death of Doreen Chaikowsky, 71, around 5 p.m. on Aug. 24.

Langan's recent guilty plea came right after Judge Lee Ann Martin denied him a chance at bail.

Sentencing will take place later this year. The Crown stayed several other charges after Langan voluntarily pleaded guilty.

Langan was drunk and "hurtling" his employer's Ford pickup along the open curb lane of McPhillips near William Avenue at more than 60 km/h over the speed limit, according to Crown attorney Jim Ross.

Traffic in other lanes was heavy at the time, with at least one witness describing it as "gridlock," Ross told court.

Langan sped into the intersection, failing to notice cars in other lanes were stopped to let a left-turning car Honda onto McPhillips, said Ross.

The Honda was hit. At the same time, Chaikowski made a right turn from William onto McPhillips and was struck by Langan's vehicle.

Chaikowski's Chevy Cobalt was pushed up onto the curb. She suffered several major injuries, including a torn aorta.

Three other people were taken to hospital as a result of the crash, said Ross. In all, seven vehicles were damaged.

The crash data recorder from Langan's truck showed he approached the intersection at 100 per cent acceleration at a speed of 123 km/h.

There was no indication he hit the brakes, court heard.

Langan was taken into custody at the scene by police. He grew belligerent and insulting towards officers, Ross said.

An analysis of blood taken from Langan at hospital showed his alcohol level was .16 — twice the legal limit for driving, Martin was told.

He had been driving with a woman from the south end of the city heading north at the time of the crash, said Ross.

Langan hoped to be released on bail to access live-in treatment programs through the John Howard Society.

He has a recent record for alcohol-fuelled crimes, including taking an axe to a Sargent Avenue pregnancy centre and using it to smash out windows in December 2010.

Neither Ross nor defence lawyer Brett Gladstone disclosed in court what sentence they may seek in the case.

A pre-sentencing report was ordered to examine his personal background. The case is due to return to court May 26.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 6:09 PM CDT: Corrects spelling of victim's last name

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