Nova Scotia

Cape Breton man sentenced to 6 months in crash that killed 3 friends

An 18-year-old driver has been given a six-month sentence in the highway deaths of three of his friends in Inverness County in July 2013.

6 people were thrown from car when it left the road in Inverness County 2 years ago

Brothers Morgan and Logan MacIntyre, 19 and 17, were pronounced dead at the scene. A third person, 20-year-old Joel Chandler, died before he could reach hospital. (CBC)

An 18-year-old driver has been given a six-month sentence in the highway deaths of three of his friends in Inverness County in July 2013.

The man, who can't be named because he was a juvenile at the time the charges were laid, was sentenced to four months at the Nova Scotia Youth Facility in Waterville and two months of house arrest.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of dangerous driving causing death.

On the night of the crash, six people were thrown from a small car when it went off the road and rolled into a ditch in Judique. First responders found victims on the ground all around the crash site.

The car had been travelling 132 kilometres per hour in an 80 km/h zone. 

Brothers Morgan and Logan MacIntyre, 19 and 17, were pronounced dead at the scene. A third person, 20-year-old Joel Chandler, died before he could reach the hospital.

Before sentencing at Thursday's hearing, the accused's lawyer suggested a sentence of lengthy probation with strict conditions and rehabilitation. The lawyer says the families involved could also participate in a restorative justice sentence. 

The Crown suggested jail would be appropriate because the deaths had a strong impact on the community, adding that alcohol and drugs are a problem for the accused. 

'I want him to live his life'

Survivors are expected to suffer long-term effects. One passenger will be paralyzed for life. The defence said the accused acknowledges his role in the crash and is sorry. 

Skid marks are visible on the highway in Judique, Cape Breton, the morning after three young people died in a car crash in July 2013. (CBC)

The driver failed to appear for his first court appearance in the spring of last year. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he later entered guilty pleas.

At a sentencing hearing in March, family members of the victims read victim impact statements.

A tearful mother, Mary Ann MacIntyre, told the court she feels no hatred for the person driving the car.

"I'm sure he'll have to do some time in youth detention," she said. "But my hope is that he gets help. I want him to live his life."

Joel Chandler's father, Gary, embraced the young man, who cried as the statements were read. The Chandlers say they pray for the driver. They just wish their son had never gotten in the car.

The CBC's Joan Weeks live blogged the sentencing.

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