Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Lawyers seek four-and-a-half year sentence in impaired driving crash

  • Print

Lawyers are seeking a four-and-a-half year prison sentence for a Winnipeg man behind the wheel of a deadly impaired driving crash.

Adan Langan, 30, appeared in court Friday to learn his fate after pleading guilty to the August 2013 tragedy.

Langan had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, was high on cocaine and driving 123 km-h in a 60 km-h zone when he smashed into several vehicles on a Saturday afternoon on McPhillips Street near William Avenue.

Doreen Chaikowsky, 71, suffered catastrophic "crushing" injuries including torn heart and liver, court was told.

Langan became combative at the scene, challenging police officers to fight, calling them "white bitches" and flipping them the middle finger while shouting that he was only being arrested because "I’m aboriginal."

"One cannot explain what happened to Doreen Chaikowsky as an accident," Crown attorney Jim Ross told court. "It was inevitable that he was going to cause tragedy."

The court hearing is being broadcast live as part of a pilot project by Manitoba justice officials. Crown and defence lawyers made the joint-recommendation on sentence, saying it is on the higher end of precedents for this type of offence. The maximum penalty is life in prison.

Family members of the victim agreed to read their impact statement on camera. They described Chaikowsky as a loving, caring mother and grandmother who deplored drunk driving and often went out of her way to ensure family members weren’t getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Her death at the hands of such a driver is tragic irony, court was told.

At one point, one of Chaikowsky’s sons passed by the prisoner’s box where Langan was sitting, leaned in and called him a "piece of s—t" before walking away without further incident.

Langan also had a statement to read Friday but elected to have his lawyer do it on the grounds he didn’t want to show his face on camera.

"I’ve spent a lot of time wishing it was me that didn’t walk away that day," Langan wrote. "I can’t even begin to try and understand their loss."

He blamed "one bad decision" for causing a lifetime of anguish.

"If any good can come from this it’s that I can learn from my mistake," he said.

However, the Crown said this sort of tragedy could be seen from a mile away. Langan had been on a downward spiral which resulted in a 2010 arrest where he threatened a woman with an axe, robbed a 7-Eleven with the weapon, smashed a parked car and struck several vehicles while speeding away while drunk and high, court was told.

He eventually pleaded guilty and was released from custody in December 2012. He took some alcohol and drug treatment but left a program without completion. He got his suspended licence back in March 2013, and killed Chaikowsky five months later.

A total of seven vehicles ended up being struck in the crash, with six victims suffering a variety of injuries

Langan had been driving his employer’s Ford pickup along the open curb lane while traffic in other lanes was heavy at the time, with at least one witness describing it as "gridlock."

Langan sped into the intersection, failing to notice cars in other lanes were stopped to let a left-turning Honda onto McPhillips The Honda was hit. At the same time, Chaikowsky made a right turn from William onto McPhillips and was struck by Langan's vehicle.

Chaikowsky's Chevy Cobalt was pushed onto the curb.

History

Updated on Friday, July 25, 2014 at 1:46 PM CDT: Adds live stream box.

4:05 PM: Updated with write-through

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Gail Asper says museum honours her father’s vision

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / Jan 10  2011 ‚Äì WEB STDUP ‚Äì Frosty morning at -15 degrees C , in pic frost covers the the Nellie McClung statue  on the MB Legislature grounds at 7am
  • Perfect Day- Paul Buteux walks  his dog Cassie Tuesday on the Sagimay Trail in Assiniboine Forest enjoying a almost perfect  fall day in Winnipeg- Standup photo – September 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the Canadian Museum for Human Rights use the word 'genocide' in exhibits on Indian residential schools?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google