NEWS

Derrick O'Connor sentenced to 4 years in death of Travis Hurlbert

11/28/2014 01:08 EST | Updated 01/28/2015 05:59 EST
An Edmonton man has been sentenced to four years in prison in the driving death of B.C. teen Travis Hurlbert.

Police say Hurlbert, 18, was killed in July 2013 when his Volkswagen Passat was split in half after being hit by Derrick O’Connor’s speeding Dodge Avenger at the intersection of Manning Drive and 167th Avenue.

O'Connor, who was driving nearly three times the speed limit when he hit Hurlbert, fled on foot and was chased down by passers-by.

He has four prior convictions, including impaired driving and driving while disqualified.

In September, the Crown asked for a six-year sentence, arguing O’Connor appeared “remorseless” for his actions.

However, defence lawyer Dean Bullerwall argued that O'Connor should receive two years in jail followed by three years' probation

Speaking Friday, provincial court judge Donna Groves said her sentencing decision was affected by O'Connor's diagnosis with FASD.

Without that consideration, she said he would have served a sentence closer to five or six years.

With time served, O’Connor will spend the next two years behind bars, and will then have a three-year probation with strict conditions.

He was also handed a lifetime driving ban.

‘Angry doesn’t even cover it’

Hurlbert, who was from Castlegar, B.C., had moved to Edmonton for work just before he died.

His family and friends in the courtroom responded with an audible gasp when the sentence was read out.

Outside the courthouse, family friend Grant Latta called the judge’s decision an “absolute tragedy,” saying the family was upset with the short sentence handed down.

"Angry doesn't even cover it,” he said.

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