May 19, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
A Winnipeg man has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for killing a young woman as she crossed the street in a pedestrian corrider.
Jarrett Carleton pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death following the April 2011 accident on Henderson Highway. The 23-year-old victim, Joanna Storm, had activated the crosswalk when she was struck by Carleton’s 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix.
Provincial court Judge Marva Smith rejected the Crown’s request for a two-year jail sentence, saying little would be accomplished with such a stiff penalty. Carleton, 19, has no prior criminal record, expressed sincere remorse and has strong family and community support.
"There is nothing the justice system can do to make up for such a terrible loss," Smith said in a 36-page written decision handed down last week.
Speed and alcohol were not factors in the crash. Rather, Carleton simply failed to notice the other vehicles which had stopped for Storm and later told police he didn’t realize there could be someone crossing the street.
"The dangerous driving here constituted a very brief, albeit absolutely tragic, period of inattention or lack of focus by this young driver, lasting mere seconds," said Smith. "Obviously every driver must approach every pedestrian corrider on full alert."
Carleton’s lawyer was seeking a conditional sentence which would allow him to remain free in the community. But Smith said a short period of custody is required, followed by two years of supervised probation and 200 hours of community service work. Carleton is also banned from driving for 18 months.
"Any period in a correctional institution is significant for a youthful first offender. Combining incarceration with substantial community service will not only result in a proportionate and deterrent sentence, but one that will serve restorative justice and rehabilitative ends," said Smith.
Storm was described by family and friends in court as a "joyful young woman, a gifted musician, a bilingual award winning Royal Canadian Navy Cadet whose special capacity for compassion and empathy, and committment to equality, touched the lives of those she met."
Storm grew up in Alberta and moved to Winnipeg in 2008. She had been working full time at the Love Nest on Main Street.
"Her life was cut short before she could live out her obvious great potential, resulting in a loss to our community that is immeasurable," Smith said in her decision.