A Calgary judge has sentenced Fergus Hunter to six more months of incarceration – less if a substance abuse program spot opens up – for the death of a girl in a hit-and-run crash.

Eleasha Wesley,10, died after a van slammed into the car she was riding in on the Trans-Canada Highway between Calgary and Morley.

Fergus Hunter, a 21-year-old who is also from Morley, was found guilty of dangerous driving causing death and fleeing the scene of an accident.

si_eleasha2

Eleasha Lisa Wesley, 10, seen in an undated photo, was thrown from her seat when her family's car was rear-ended. (Handout)

On Monday, Justice Pat Sullivan sentenced Hunter to six months in jail, on top of the time he has already spent in the remand centre awaiting trial, plus two years probation. If a spot in a substance abuse treatment centre opens up, Hunter can leave jail early. 

Sullivan told Hunter he must stay sober and that he'll pray for him.

Emotional family statements

In written statements read by a lawyer earlier Monday in court, Eleasha's father talked about being depressed and considering suicide, her mother about suffering flashbacks and experiencing fear and anger, while her older sister wrote that she regrets not being able to say goodbye.

Hunter remained emotionless during the statements.

The Crown lawyer asked the judge for a sentence of three years and three months, while Hunter's lawyer Alain Hepner wanted time already served, equivalent to 22 to 28 months, plus three years probation.

"I know the family is understandably tormented and heartbroken at the result. I mean everybody's hurting, I think, everyone's hurting and it's one of those cases where I think the judge bent over backwards to find the middle ground that he could he could satisfy the law yet address the community needs," said Hepner. 

"I think that he really fought to find a proper balance between all individuals of this aboriginal community so that healing would commence for everyone. Not just the victims and not just the accused family."

Hunter has a criminal record and a diagnosed severe substance abuse problem. A pre-sentence report found he was at a high risk to re-offend violently.

Fergus Hunter

Video evidence showed Fergus Hunter had been in two liquor stores near the scene just minutes before the crash. (Court exhibit)