WEYBURN, Sask. — A man who struck and killed an 18-year-old highway flag worker in Saskatchewan has been sentenced to two years less a day in jail.
Keith Dunford, a 47-year-old Regina resident, was found guilty earlier this year to dangerous driving causing death.
Ashley Dawn Richards was killed during her first day on the job near the southeastern community of Midale in August 2012.
Court heard that Richards, who had recently moved from Lakeside, N.B., and was pregnant at the time of the accident, was thrown about the width of a Canadian Football League field when she was struck by Dunford's speeding SUV in a construction zone.
Dunford, who is a professional truck driver from the United Kingdom, also faces a three-year driving ban upon release.
His lawyer, who had argued for a suspended sentence, plans to appeal.
Queen's Bench Justice Lana Krogan said there was little chance Dunford would reoffend and acknowledged he had no previous record. But she added she had to take deterrence into account when deciding on a sentence.
An RCMP accident reconstructionist at Dunford's trial estimated Dunford's vehicle was going between 82 km/h and 99 km/h when it struck Richards. The speed limit was 60 km/h.
Dunford told police he was looking at his recent immigration papers when the collision occurred.
Krogan pointed out at the trial that Dunford didn't modify his speed despite seeing construction signs and observing other drivers slowing down in the construction zone.
A reasonable person would have foreseen the risk because there were eight posted construction signs, she said.
Dunford said he had a momentary lapse of attention, but Krogan noted that Dunford was driving through the construction zone for the second time that day.
(CFSL, The Canadian Press)
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