Justice officials are seeking a nine-year prison term for a man responsible for a high-speed, two-vehicle collision that killed a Winnipeg mother and her infant son.

Justice officials are seeking a nine-year prison term for a man responsible for a high-speed, two-vehicle collision that killed a Winnipeg mother and her infant son.

Armand Chartrand, 43, pleaded guilty in provincial court Monday to two counts of criminal negligence causing death and three counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Jennifer Dethmers, 30, died Sept. 26, 2020, the day of the crash; her nine-month-old son died a month later in hospital. Two other occupants of the vehicle, Dethmers’ stepdaughter and the infant boy’s father, were seriously injured.

Court heard Chartrand, who has been suspended from driving since he was 17, was driving a pickup truck in the area of Main Street and Redwood Avenue around 1:30 p.m. when city police attempted to pull him over.

Chartrand continued driving to Boyd Avenue, where he picked up speed and police pulled back due to safety concerns, Crown attorney Manoja Moorthy told provincial court Judge Cindy Sholdice.

According to a police collision reconstructionist, Chartrand was driving an estimated 112 km/h when he blew through a stop sign at the intersection of Boyd Avenue and Andrews Street and collided with Dethmers’ van.

There was no evidence Chartrand attempted to brake prior to the collision, court heard.

Chartrand climbed out of his driver’s side window and was quickly taken to the ground by police, Moorthy said.

"He was crying, saying: ‘God, I f----- up, I should have stopped,’" she said.

The Crown is recommending Chartrand be sentenced to nine years in prison, the defence is asking for seven years.

In January, a review by the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba found no evidence any actions by police contributed to the collision.

Chartrand has a prior record for driving offences. Most recently, he pleaded guilty in 2012 to driving without a licence and insurance and was fined $850.

In 2002, Chartrand was sentenced to a prison term after pleading guilty to robbery and several driving-related offences, including theft of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen automobile, and joyriding.

He remains in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.

dean.pritchard@freepress.mb.ca

Dean Pritchard

Dean Pritchard
Courts reporter

Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.

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