The sentencing hearing began on Thursday for a Maple Ridge man who was drunk behind the wheel of a car when it crashed, killing his girlfriend in 2010

Trevor Livingston pleaded guilty to one count of impaired driving causing death in February.

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The sentencing hearing for Trevor Livingston began in a courtroom in New Westminster Thursday morning. (CBC/Emily Elias)

The crash happened in March 2010 as Livingston was driving his girlfriend, Amanda Woodthorpe, and two friends home after a night out at Rooster's Country Caberet in Pitt Meadows.

Livingston made a sharp lane change on Lougheed Highway and crashed into a pole. Other drivers estimated the car was traveling over 100 km/h at the time of the crash.

Woodthorpe was pronounced dead at the scene, while Livingston was put into a medically induced coma for several weeks after the crash and eventually had his right leg amputated.

On Thursday, Livingston's lawyer told the court his client's hospital walls were decorated with pictures of him and Amanda, and when he learned of her death, he ripped them off the walls.

"He loved her," Marvin Stern said, adding that Livingston will have to live with what he did for the rest of his life. 

Stern said Livingston aspires to become a speaker against drinking and driving and has already been invited to talk to a class of grade six and seven students.

An expert statement submitted during the sentencing hearing says Livingston’s blood alcohol level indicates he was impaired at the time of the crash.

Livingston only had his learner's permit and was therefore prohibited from driving at that time of the day. His permit also prohibited him from having any alcohol in his system and from driving with passengers who did not hold a full license.

Woodthorpe’s father read a victim impact statement to a packed courtroom on Thursday.

"The loss of my daughter is devastating to me," he said. "I will never experience her marriage, or birth of her children."

The sentencing hearing was adjourned until July 15.