Kamloops this Week

No jail time for overdose crash near Kamloops

A Kamloops man avoids jail following a overdose crash on Trans-Canada Highway

  • Nov. 14, 2017 4:25 p.m.

—- Kamloops this Week

A Kamloops man who overdosed on a sedative street drug while driving on the Trans-Canada Highway between Dallas and Pritchard has avoided jail.

But Roald Daniel Van Der Merwe, 26, will spend six months living under strict court-ordered conditions after pleading guilty in Kamloops provincial court Tuesday to one count of dangerous driving.

Court heard police received multiple reports of an erratic driver eastbound on the Trans-Canada Highway near Pat Road on the afternoon of Nov. 28, 2016. When a police officer caught up to the vehicle, she observed it “slaloming” between lanes and fluctuating in speed between 5 km/h and 80 km/h.

After five minutes, police called off the pursuit. Van Der Merwe’s vehicle, a Jeep, continued along the highway and drove through a construction zone, knocking over 14 pylons and striking equipment.

The Jeep left the roadway a short time later, slamming into the concrete divider and then veering into the ditch.

The RCMP constable approached the vehicle when she arrived at the scene of the crash.

“There was no odour of alcohol on the driver’s breath, but he did have vomit on his lap,” Crown prosecutor Frank Caputo said, noting doctors gave Van Der Merwe two doses of Naloxone at Royal Inland Hospital.

Caputo said he would have sought jail time if not for Van Der Merwe’s lack of a criminal record.

Defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen said Van Der Merwe tried GHB — also known as the date-rape drug — for the first time a short time before the highway demolition derby.

“He’s fully aware of how lucky he was that no one was injured,” Jensen said. “He’s been entirely sober since.”

Van Der Merwe apologized in court.

“I highly regret what happened and I understand that my substance abuse problem has taken a lot of things from me,” he said. “I’m very happy to know nobody was injured.”

In addition to the conditional sentence order, Van Der Merwe will also be bound by a one-year driving ban.

Just Posted

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Updated: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Tub time looming for Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race

The annual Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race now taking registration for this year’s races

TGIF: Penticton and South Okanagan events listings

Live theatre, concerts, events, art exhibits and more from around the South Okanagan

South Okanagan winery nets gold in international competition

Covert Farms Family Estate winery scores big

Live: BC Wildfire Service press conference

Watch the LIVE media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

Feds say they’re willing to help with Okanagan fires

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale talks to local MP and offers help

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

More space in BC parks and campsites to get away from it all

Province announces an additional 431 campsites throughout B.C. for the 2018 season

Current forest fires bring back memories of 2003 wildfire in Kelowna

Former Kelowna fire chief says plan should be to throw everything at a forest fire early

Most Read