The man charged in connection with the October crash that took the life of a young Scarborough woman has pleaded guilty in the case.
Twenty-five-year-old Jared DeJong of London appeared in court on Wednesday morning to plead guilty to having over 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ML of blood causing death.
DeJong had been out on bail since a day after the October 7th collision which claimed the life of 18-year-old Andrea Christidis of Scarborough (pictured).
“He wishes this never happened,” defence lawyer Jim Dean told reporters after the hearing.
“He’s extremely remorseful, he feels horrible for what’s happened, for what the victim’s family is going through, for what happened to the victim. Certainly, for what he and his family are going through and what he has ultimately caused his family to go through as well. Again, it’s a horrible situation for everyone involved.”
The victim’s mother, Georgia Christidis, also spoke with reporters.
“I don’t know how we’re going to cope with her loss for the rest of our lives or when we will ever stop asking: why? Why did this happen to our beautiful, intelligent, and kind daughter who had so much to live for, so much love to share, and so many dreams and aspirations to fulfill?”
At the hearing, an agreed upon statement of facts revealed that DeJong, who was not a Western University student, was on campus drinking with friends at a campus pub, the Spoke.
DeJong had driven his father’s vehicle and was parked at the nearby Weldon lot. After three or four hours he and his friends decided to head to an apartment building to meet another friend and DeJong got back in the vehicle.
Witnesses said road conditions at the time were “perfect” and that the vehicle was seen travelling very fast down Lambton Drive, at one point cutting in front of a city bus and then driving on the opposite side of the road, which was captured on video by the bus and submitted as evidence to the judge.
The vehicle drove through two intersections without stopping and police said other drivers had to take evasive action to avoid a crash. The vehicle then took a sharp left turn, mounted the sidewalk, and struck Christidis, throwing her 10 metres. She died in hospital two days later.
DeJong was arrested at the scene and later provided two breath samples, at one point blowing 171mg/100mL of blood – more than twice the legal limit.
The sentencing phase of the case will begin on April 28th though the judge notes that a decision may not be handed down that day.
Dean is hoping for a fair result for all parties.
“Fair to both the victim, respective of what happened. Fair to Mr. DeJong in regards to allowing for rehabilitation and some promise for the future still.”
Georgia Christidis, meantime, is bracing for disappointment.
“He killed my daughter. I won’t be happy with the sentencing most likely, because we know from other cases what they’re getting… Can anything ever bring my daughter back? No. But if there’s a message out there with severe high sentences, maybe that would deter people.”
DeJong had no criminal record. His lawyer is expecting a sentence of between two and eight years but the judge has emphasized it is her decision alone.