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Teen gets fine, ban for role in fatal rollover

A teen who was illegally playing the role of "driving instructor" during a fatal rollover has been fined and banned from driving.

Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta fined the teen $1,000 and banned him from driving for a year.

"One thousand dollars is just money, it’s nothing compared to a young woman who is no longer with her family or friends," Hewitt-Michta said.

The girl, 15, was killed in a crash on Sept. 30 near Glenboro.

Due to legal concerns, the deceased teen cannot be named.

In Brandon court on Tuesday, a 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty to unlawfully acting as a supervising driver without the proper licence under Manitoba Driver’s Licence regulations.

Effectively, he was playing the role of driving "instructor" when he wasn’t legally qualified.

While he wasn’t the driver at the time of the rollover, Hewitt-Michta said tragedy might have been avoided if the youth had been the "voice of reason" instead of showing off his limited driving knowledge.

He owned the Chevrolet Avalanche SUV that rolled in the RM of South Cypress around 10 p.m.

Police found acceleration marks on the gravel road and there was an indication that the SUV had fish-tailed before it hit the ditch and rolled.

The 15-year-old girl had been one of four youths who had been riding around in the vehicle when it crashed. She walked away from the wreck but didn’t feel well and emergency vehicles were called.

However, she died in hospital later that night from an internal injury.

Crown attorney Yaso Mathu said that the teen who pleaded guilty on Tuesday had been giving "driving lessons" to the other youths.

The youth, 16 years old at the time of the crash, had only a Class 5I licence and didn’t qualify to be the required supervisor to the 16-year-old boy who was driving.

The driver held only a Class 5L licence and a Class 5F licence would have been required to be his supervisor.

A driver has to hold a full Class 5F licence for three years before they can be a supervisor for a learner.

The lack of a proper supervisor was one of the factors in the crash, Mathu said.

No alcohol was involved, RCMP said, but driver inexperience appeared to be a factor.

They noted that the girl who was killed, and had suffered blunt force trauma to her chest, hadn’t been wearing a seatbelt.

None of the other occupants were injured.

Defence lawyer Patrick Sullivan told court that his client, the boy who’d been acting as instructor, sat with the girl following the crash as they waited for emergency personnel to arrive.

Those final minutes with the girl have had a deep impact on the boy, defence lawyer Patrick Sullivan said.

"This has haunted him since the incident and … will likely haunt him the rest of his life," Sullivan said.

Meanwhile, the youth said to have been the driver of the SUV faces charges of careless driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.

He’s also charged with being a learner driver who was driving without a required supervising driver.

His case is still before the courts.

» ihitchen@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 17, 2013

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A teen who was illegally playing the role of "driving instructor" during a fatal rollover has been fined and banned from driving.

Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta fined the teen $1,000 and banned him from driving for a year.

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A teen who was illegally playing the role of "driving instructor" during a fatal rollover has been fined and banned from driving.

Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta fined the teen $1,000 and banned him from driving for a year.

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