A Whitehorse man will serve a one-year conditional sentence in the community for his role in a snowmobile accident that killed his brother-in-law.

Trevor Castagner, 40, admits he drove dangerously the night of the accident, but maintains he was not impaired. 

Castagner says he had a couple drinks over dinner on New Year's Eve, almost three years ago. He was back home after midnight when friends called him to another party. He drove there on his snowmobile, where he says he had a few more beers.

At about 5 a.m. Castagner decided to drive his brother-in-law Tim Bierlmeier home on the back of his sled.

Court was told Castagner drove at high speed, zig-zagging through ditches, until on the last corner, a shift in weight from the passenger caused him to lose control. The machine rolled into a parked car in front of his house. Bierlmeier hit his head on the car and was killed instantly.

Crown prosecutors originally charged Castagner with impaired driving causing death. They have now accepted a plea bargain on the lesser charge of dangerous driving, acknowledging it would be difficult to prove Castagner was legally impaired.

Under the terms of the conditional sentence, Castagner will have a 10 p.m. curfew for the first six months, he is not allowed to drink, and he is under a one-year driving ban. He is also ordered to complete 75 hours of community service.

Clarifications

  • This story has been changed from a previously published version to add more detail from the court proceedings.
    Nov 05, 2013 12:49 PM CT