A Greater Sudbury man who drove on the wrong side of the road, colliding with another vehicle and then fled the scene has been fined $3,000 and lost his driver’s licence for one year.

Trevor Vaillancourt, 44, pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice to charges of dangerous driving and failing to remain at the scene of an accident. The latter charge is a Highway Traffic Act offence.

“On the 18th of November, 2018, you were very lucky someone wasn’t killed,” Justice Richard Humphrey told Vaillancourt, as he issued the two penalties that had been suggested in a joint sentencing submission by the Crown and defence lawyer Glenn Sandberg. “I’m told there was alcohol involved. There was a motor vehicle collision, a fail to remain. You left the scene and it was only through the police you were eventually detained. I think you are very lucky you are here dealing with this and the manner in which it is being resolved.”

“I quit drinking and am going to rehab for help,” Vaillancourt told Humphrey.

The court heard that about 3:30 p.m. Nov. 18, 2018, Vaillancourt was driving a 2017 Dodge Ram pickup truck northbound on Lansing Avenue on the wrong side of the road. He collided with a 2008 Kia Sportage being driven by a woman; both vehicles were extensively damaged.

Vaillancourt continued to drive, heading about 1.5 kilometres away from the scene, and turning into the driveway of his home on Springdale Crescent.

The female driver of the Kia, meanwhile, was unable to get out of her vehicle due to the damage. She received minor injuries.

The woman and two witnesses told Greater Sudbury Police officers they had seen the pickup truck driver continue driving and where he had turned off.

Officers found the damaged truck and knocked on the front door of the home. There was no answer.

Concerned that the driver had been injured, they went around to the back door, found it unlocked, entered and discovered Vaillancourt lying on his bed. He admitted to drinking during the day.

He was also the only person in the residence at the time.

Sandberg said Vaillancourt, who works in the mining field, would have entered his guilty pleas earlier, but that was not possible due to Sandberg’s busy schedule in recent months.

Assistant Crown attorney Mathieu Ansell said the key sentencing principle in the case has to be deterrence.

“Driving in this province is a privilege and not a right,” he said.

Source: The Sudbury Star