Camera-toting witness helps Penticton police

A camera-toting civilian helped Mounties take a dangerous driver off the road this summer.

A camera-toting civilian helped Mounties take a dangerous driver off the road this summer.

Corey Woodcock, 23, was fined $1,000 and handed a one-year driving prohibition this week after pleading guilty in provincial court in Penticton to a single count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

“Mr. Woodcock, somebody could have been killed,” said Judge Meg Shaw before handing down her sentence in relation to the incident on Aug. 31.

On that afternoon, according to circumstances related by Crown counsellor Susan Greba, a civilian called police after a man banged on his door, then “staggered away” to a red car and drove off down Vancouver Hill.

Minutes later, another civilian reported to police that a red car was “swerving and tailgating” on Government Street and Duncan Avenue, after rear-ending another vehicle and taking off.

A witness snapped photos of the suspect vehicle and sent the pictures to police, who used them to track down Woodcock at his house.

There officers found a red Mazda car that was missing its oil pan and had a damaged front bumper, while a vodka bottle was visible inside the passenger area.

Greba said Mounties then went to the door of the home and found Woodcock “could barely walk. He was very intoxicated.”

Woodcock went to the hospital for a checkup before going to the RCMP detachment, she continued.

Greba said it would have been difficult to charge him with impaired driving since he wasn’t caught in the act, so “commonly in these circumstances we seek penalties similar to impaired driving.”

In asking for a fine alone and driving ban, she credited Woodcock with pleading guilty, and noted his car was a write-off for which he didn’t receive any insurance money since he wrecked it while impaired.

Woodcock apologized in court for the incident.

“I’m really sorry for what I did,” he said.