Calgary

Ryan Gibson sentence in fatal drunk driving crash upheld by appeal court

The Alberta Court of Appeal has upheld the sentence given to a Calgary man for a 2012 drunk-driving crash that killed a Cochrane teen.

Top Alberta court suggests sentence could have been longer had Crown appealed

Ryan Jordan Gibson pleaded guilty last year to driving over .08 causing death and driving over .08 causing bodily harm in a 2012 crash that killed a Cochrane teenager. (CBC)

The Alberta Court of Appeal has upheld the sentence given to a Calgary man for a drunk-driving crash that killed a Cochrane teen.

Brandon Thomas, 17, died in December 2012 when a vehicle driven by Ryan Jordan Gibson smashed head-on into his Subaru on Highway 22.

Gibson pleaded guilty last year to driving over .08 causing death and driving over .08 causing bodily harm.

A provincial court judge rejected a joint submission of a two-year prison term and instead sentenced Gibson to 32 months.

Gibson, 24, appealed the higher sentence.

The appeal court said Wednesday it agrees with the trial judge, saying a two-year sentence would have been “profoundly unfit” given the gravity of the offence.

“Gibson drove his vehicle — a 3/4 ton truck — in a manner that could only be described as dangerous in the extreme, putting in peril the lives and safety of innocent persons using the public roads,” the three-judge panel wrote in their decision.  

“In our view, there is no basis on which to interfere with the sentence imposed by the sentencing judge.”

The judges added that, had the Crown appealed the sentence, the high court might have imposed an even longer sentence.

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