A woman has been sentenced to a year of house arrest after her “reckless” driving caused a head-on collision on Highway 97A in Enderby in 2020.
According to a recent judgement by B.C. Provincial Court judge Jeremy Guild, Fardowsa MacLeod was charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm after the collision that occurred just before 7 a.m. May 24, 2020. After a trial, Guild found her guilty and sentenced her to a one-year conditional sentence. For the first six months she is on house arrest, and then she has a curfew of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. for the remainder of the sentence.
MacLeod was driving a black SUV, travelling above the speed limit for over a kilometre, mostly in the wrong lane. She drove into oncoming traffic, travelling at least 100 kilometres an hour a 60 km/h zone.
Guild said MacLeod narrowly missed one vehicle before hitting another head-on. He noted MacLeod’s vehicle’s wheels were so far over the centre line they were almost on the opposite shoulder.
“It was not an accident. Driving in that manner was purposeful,” Guild said in his judgement. “Despite that near miss, she swerved back into the oncoming lane immediately after, maintaining her high speed.”
The collision caused serious injuries to the other driver, who has suffered memory loss as a result of being concussed, an injured back and various soft tissue injuries. The driver still suffers from chronic back pain and experienced severe anxiety and depression for several months. She missed a month of work and lost a promotion because she could not lift objects, and suffered financial hardship from the loss of her vehicle.
MacLeod also suffered injuries in the crash, fracturing her collarbone and both ankles.
Through her lawyer at a court hearing, MacLeod said at the time of the crash she was upset because her mother had recently been diagnosed with cancer. She also said she was distracted by her dog who was loose in the vehicle and got into a box of chocolates.
The judge dismissed that excuse, saying that if her dog was distracting her, she should have pulled over.
Guild said MacLeod’s dangerous driving demonstrated “wanton disregard for everyone else on or near the road. At those speeds in a rural community, there was a significant risk to people and property.”
In addition to the house arrest, MacLeod has to pay a mandatory $1,000 fine and a victim fine surcharge of $300. She also has a driving prohibition for one year.