A man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for killing a Winnipeg father with a stolen SUV.


Zdzislaw Andrzejczak, 47, died after being hit by an SUV stolen by Mark Rodgers. ((CBC))

Mark Rodgers, 19, was behind the wheel of a Hummer H2 on Dec. 11, 2009 when he ran stop sign at Alfred Avenue and Andrews Street and slammed into a much smaller Subaru driven by Zdzislaw Andrzejczak, 47.

The Hummer was going at a speed of about 94 km/h in a 50 km/h zone, police said, citing data retrieved from the SUV's computer.

Andrzejczak died at the scene.

'This was terrifying to the members of the public.' —Judge Catherine Carlson

Rodgers, who fled the scene on foot, was later arrested and pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death in December 2010. He admitted his responsibility to police not long after he was detained.

The Hummer was stolen from the parking lot at the Victoria Inn on the morning of the crash. Police earlier tried to pull the vehicle over but it sped off and the pursuit was called off for public safety reasons.


Zdzislaw Andrzejczak, in a family photo with his wife, Jolant. ((Family Photo/James Turner/CBC))

In handing down the seven year sentence Thursday, provincial court Judge Catherine Carlson gave Rodgers 29 months credit for time already served, meaning he could serve another 55 months unless he receives parole.

"The actions of Mr. Rodgers are what every law-abiding driver is afraid of ... This was terrifying to the members of the public because no matter how carefully they drive they cannot avoid collisions caused by the unpredictable and reckless driving of the type that occurred in this case," the judge said.

Carlson also issued a 15 year driving prohibition after Rodgers is released, and a 10 year prohibition against possessing a weapon. Rodgers must also provide authorities with a DNA sample.

A teenaged co-accused in the case has pleaded guilty to theft for helping steal the Hummer.

He can't be named because he was charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

His lawyer, Michelle Bright, said the hope Rodgers will be rehabilitated remain high. Carlson noted he came from a troubled background.

Court heard officials believe Rodgers was once a member of the Manitoba Warriors gang, but has turned his back on gang life.

With files rom the CBC's James Turner