A Vancouver Island woman originally sentenced to one day in jail for hitting and killing a motorcyclist while driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol has had her sentence increased to two years less a day.
Tracy Dawn Smith, a 37-year-old mother of three, pleaded guilty last year to impaired driving causing death in a Canada Day 2011 collision in Langford.
A Provincial Court judge then sentenced her to one day in jail, accompanied by three years probation, noting rehabilitation would be more effective than incarceration. Crown then appealed that decision in December 2012.
The new sentence, issued Tuesday by the B.C. Court of Appeal, increases Smith’s sentence from one day, to two years less a day. Smith, who has a history of abuse and addiction but no previous criminal record, will still need to serve three years probation following her term in jail.
Since her initial release, Smith has been at a residential rehabilitation facility.
On July 1, 2011, Smith was at the Goldstream Provincial Park campsite, where witnesses described her as “agitated,” “highly intoxicated” and “in a rage.” She then got in her car and began weaving through traffic and multiple lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Smith had driven for about five minutes over a distance of 3.6 kilometres when her car crossed the median and crashed into Janathan Mahenthiran on his motorcycle, sending his bike through the air and into the car behind him. Mahenthiran, whose 48th birthday would have been the next day, died on scene.
Smith later admitted to police she had taken crack cocaine that morning, and her blood alcohol level was calculated to be roughly twice the legal limit the time of the crash. She was also unco-operative with police and hospital staff during her arrest, and intentionally smashed her head on the sidewalk.
The victim had moved to Victoria just over a year and a half prior to the accident to work with a software company. The court also heard how Mahenthiran’s wife had been planning to join him email@example.com
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