A Toronto businesswoman's plea bargain means she will only pay a $400 fine for running over and killing a 75-year-old grandmother.
Fen Shi was walking on the sidewalk along the city's Bayview Ave. last September when a car pulling out of a driveway struck her and, according to court testimony reported in the Toronto Sun, kept on driving until other motorists intervened.
The driver, corporate executive Ann Wyganowski, was charged with careless driving before pleading down to failure to yield.
“I just can’t believe it,” Shi’s son, John Pan told the newspaper. “The fine is only $400 — for a life. Can you believe that?”
Wyganowski is listed as vice president on the website for HZX Business Continuity Planning -- a Toronto-based firm specializing in risk and emergency management, as well as disaster recovery.
According to her LinkedIn bio, she has "managed many emergencies... during widespread business disruptions, all resulting in no lost revenues and successful plan execution."
The failure to yield fine falls under Section 139 (1) of the Highway Traffic Act , basically capping the fine at $500 fine.
News of the paltry compensation managed to make its way into U.S. headlines, with Jonathan Vankin writing in Opposing Views, "As if the paltry fine wasn’t enough, the Canadian justice of the peace overseeing court proceedings admonished the victim’s son for speaking out in court, telling him that his mom’s killer had suffered just as much as he had."
There have been a number of similar cases in Ontario. An 85-year-old Vaughan, Ont. woman is facing a careless driving and stunt driving charge after killing a woman walking her dog last month.
"There's no such thing as stunt driving causing death, it doesn't exist under the Highway Traffic Act," York Regional Police Const. Laura Nicolle told the Toronto Sun.
A New Jersey man could face $400 and no jail time in a July crash that killed one person and injured six.
Earlier this year, a garbage truck driver in Toronto struck and killed a school girl. He will also face a careless driving charge.
In a similar 2011 case, a cyclist who ran over and fractured the skull of a pedestrian received a $400 fine and was charged with careless driving.
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