A B.C. man has been sentenced to a year in jail after being convicted of dangerous driving causing death for a July 2018 motorcycle accident involving his girlfriend.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Duncan said Harrison Vaughn Ludwig Heth-Klems took a friend’s Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle without consent on July 13, 2018.
Heth-Klems was not licensed to operate a motorcycle and was prohibited from driving at the time.
He took his girlfriend, Megan Kinnee, out for dinner and then, with her as a passenger, drove on Highway 1 east towards a park.
Traffic on the highway was slow and Heth-Klems took an exit from the highway to the adjacent South Parallel Road in Abbotsford.
Duncan said a camera at a business on the road captured the motorcycle travelling at 120 km/h in an 80km/h speed zone. Soon after, it collided with the rear of a Lincoln Navigator travelling slowly along South Parallel Road.
“His choice to drive contrary to that prohibition and in the manner he did resulted in Ms. Kinnee’s death and has visited an enormous loss on her family,” Duncan said.
Duncan said in the April 27 decision released May 2 that Heth-Klems took his eyes off the road ahead of him to observe an accident on Highway 1.
“This inattention was more than momentary,” Duncan said. “When coupled with his speed and the fact that he had been gaining on a vehicle which was there to be seen and impossible to miss, his driving was a marked departure from the standard of care expected of a reasonable person. The collision caused the death of Ms. Kinnee.”
Heth-Klems sustained a head injury, fractures to his pelvis and back, nerve damage, partial leg paralysis, a collapsed lung and three broken ribs.
He had previously received multiple speeding tickets, the court heard.
Defence had sought a conditional sentence with house arrest.
Duncan also gave Heth-Klems a three-year driving ban.