New Brunswick

Grand Manan man sentenced to 4 years in prison for fatal New Year's crash

A Grand Manan man has been sentenced to four years in prison for driving while impaired and causing the crash that killed a local fisherman on New Year's Day in 2018.

Daniel Greene, 23, was found guilty earlier of impaired driving causing death of Derek Patey, 29

Daniel Richard Greene's estimated blood-alcohol level at the time his truck struck Derek Patey's ATV was between 152 mg and 182 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, the court heard. (CBC)

A Grand Manan man has been sentenced to four years in prison for driving while impaired and causing the crash that killed a local fisherman on New Year's Day in 2018.

Daniel Greene, 23, was sentenced Tuesday in Saint John by Court of Queen's Bench Justice Deborah Hackett, who said it was important to send a message of denunciation and deterrence.

Greene's Chevy Silverado smashed into the ATV Derek Patey was operating on Route 776 near Seal Cove at around 3 a.m.

"I'm very disappointed," the victim's father, Russell Patey, said outside the courthouse. "Four years for killing someone? That ain't very good."

"As far as I'm concerned, he didn't kill my son, he murdered my son."

Hackett, who noted Greene had four previous convictions for driving over the speed limit, said she considered his excessively high speed at the time of the collision to be an aggravating factor.

Greene was estimated to be travelling, with his gas pedal 95 per cent depressed, at 176 kilometres an hour about 1½ seconds before impact. The speed limit on that stretch of road was 80 km/h.

The judge also noted that Greene had used cannabis that night and had chosen to drive when others said that he shouldn't.

Greene will get credit for time served in custody while waiting for his sentencing.

Russell Patey said four years isn't a long enough sentence for killing his son Derek. (Roger Cosman/CBC)

When he's released from custody, he'll be prohibited from driving for six years.

The victim's mother, Shirley Patey, said her family is just trying to cope with their loss, one day at a time.

"It just tears your heart apart," she said outside the courthouse.

She said she misses hearing from her son, who was 29 when he died.

"I don't get my phone call. I always got my phone calls. I always got, 'I love you.'"

Shirley Patey said she misses the phone calls from her son. (Roger Cosman/CBC)

Greene's estimated blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was between 152 mg and 182 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, experts testified. The legal limit is 80 mg per 100 ml.

Hackett found Greene guilty in August of impaired driving causing death and killing someone while driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit.

But she found him not guilty of leaving the scene of an accident. She said his blood-alcohol level was so high and witnesses said he seemed so confused, she wasn't convinced he fled to avoid police.

Derek Patey, 29, was killed Jan. 1, 2018, when the ATV he was driving on Route 776 was struck from behind by Daniel Greene's truck. (Facebook)

The Crown had been seeking a sentence of six to seven years in prison, followed by a 10-year ban on driving.

The judge said that was too much.

She said mitigating factors in the case included Greene's youth, his lack of criminal convictions, his family support and his expression of some remorse.

"This was not a tragic accident," she said directly to Greene. "You made a terrible choice. Your actions caused death."

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