New Brunswick

Low-speed backhoe chase near Fredericton nets Alberta man 18 months in jail

An Alberta man was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in jail for leading police on a low-speed backhoe chase on the Trans-Canada Highway, near Fredericton, last month.

Thomas Therrien Chiasson, 27, pleaded guilty to 7 charges, including dangerous driving and impaired driving

Thomas Therrien Chiasson was sentenced on Wednesday after leading the police on a low-speed chase in a stolen backhoe. (CBC)

An Alberta man has been sentenced to 18 months in jail after leading police on a drunken low-speed chase on a stolen backhoe along the Trans-Canada Highway, near Fredericton, last month.

Thomas Therrien Chiasson, 27, had previously changed his plea to guilty on seven charges, including dangerous driving and impaired driving.

He appeared in Fredericton provincial court on Wednesday afternoon.

The Crown prosecutor had recommended the 18-month sentence for Chiasson, who struggled to contain his laughter as the details of the case were relayed to the court.

The 10 km/h chase took place on the Trans-Canada Highway, about 25 kilometres west of Fredericton, at around 3:40 a.m. on July 7.

It ended near King's Landing after RCMP officers put down a spike belt, with assistance from members of the Fredericton Police Force.

The backhoe caused more than $23,000 in damage to the highway guardrail and to the asphalt, the courtroom heard.

Chiasson's defence lawyer agreed the recommended sentence was appropriate.

After a brief recess, the judge imposed an 18-month sentence, minus the two months Chaisson has already spent in custody.

Chiasson, whose last known address was in Red Deer, Alta., was charged with:

  • Dangerous driving.
  • Impaired driving.
  • Refusing a breathalyzer demand.
  • Possession of stolen property over $5,000.
  • Mischief over $5,000.
  • Evading a police officer.
  • Breaching a court order in British Columbia.

He had initially pleaded not guilty to all seven charges.

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