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Akhil Sankeshwar was killed in a crash on Labour Day 2016.

A young driver who killed “a friend he loved like a brother” in a Labour Day 2016 crash was sentenced to two years less a day in prison.

“I love Akhil like a brother. His death has torn me from the inside out where every day is a struggle to get out of bed,” driver Warren Ferns wrote to the family of his victim, Akhil Sankeshwar.

“I tell you this because if I feel this way, your pain is undoubtedly one hundred times worse.”

“Ferns described how Mr. Sankeshwar changed his life,” said Justice Jane Kelly in her judgment. “Ferns had never met anyone so selfless and he wanted to follow in his footsteps.

“He never meant to put Mr. Sankeshwar in harm’s way,” said Kelly, who subtracted just over six months for time already served.

Ferns, who hasn’t driven since the collision, is banned from driving for five years, but has just under 28 months remaining on the prohibition.

The judge convicted Ferns, now 26, of dangerous driving causing death, but she acquitted him of drunk driving causing death.

Ferns consumed three to four alcoholic beverages within a two-hour period before he lost control of his speeding 2004 Mazda 6 on Mount Pleasant Rd., Toronto in the early morning hours of Sept. 5, 2016, resulting in the death of his passenger, Sankeshwar, 28, said Kelly.

Fern’s calculated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the crash was between 70 and 130 mg of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, Kelly said.

“The evidence regarding Mr. Ferns‘ ability to drive while impaired is frail and insufficient to satisfy me beyond a reasonable doubt that his ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol,” the judge stated.

“The smell of alcohol on its own … is not proof that he was impaired at the time of driving.

“Further, bloodshot and glassy eyes as well as droopy eyelids and a red complexion” could result from being involved in a traumatic collision, noted Kelly. “Many of the ‘classic signs of impairment’ are absent here.”

Due to his G2 driver’s licence, Ferns was prohibited from having any alcohol when he got behind the wheel.

His vehicle was headed north near Roxborough Dr. shortly before 2:30 a.m. when it swerved, hit a light standard, rotated and crashed, court heard.

Ferns was driving at least 76 km/h in a 60 km/h zone.

Ferns “has worked hard to become skilled and employed and is a first offender,” said Kelly.

Source: The Kingston Whig-Standard