Drunk driver who killed best friend gets six years

SURREY – A Surrey drunk driver who blew through a red light in a busy intersection, crashed his car and left his best friend to die in the passenger seat has been sentenced to six years in prison.

 

But with credit for time served in Surrey Pretrial, Andrew Ostrowski’s sentence is actually five years. Judge Peder Gulbransen also prohibited him from driving for eight years, once he gets out of prison.

 

A psychiatrist found Ostrowski a high risk to reoffend but also found much of that was based on his addiction to drugs and alcohol. Gulbransen noted he’d been making headway on that, in custody.

 

"There is still some hope he can change," the judge said while pronouncing sentence Tuesday in Surrey provincial court, adding Ostrowski’s crimes were "among the most serious in the Criminal Code."

 

Ostrowski, now 28, was 23 when the crash happened on Sept. 6, 2011. Driving while impaired, and while subject to an indefinite

 

driving prohibition, he ran a red light, entered the intersection of 88th Avenue and 132nd from a left-turn lane, and a Nissan SUV T-boned his Honda CRX.

 

Ostrowski’s friend, Sergio Martinez, was badly injured in the collision and died in hospital a few hours later. The court heard Ostrowski took off in an effort to duck being arrested for a prior robbery, to which he later pleaded guilty.

 

Twenty minutes after the crash, police found him walking down a side street a few blocks away, still intoxicated. He denied he was the driver and claimed he and the person behind the wheel both ran away right after the crash.

 

Gulbransen found Ostrowski guilty on May 22, 2014, in Surrey provincial court.

 

Last week Ostrowski choked back tears as he apologized in court.

 

"I’m extremely remorseful," he added. "I have to face all the people that I’ve hurt."

 

tzytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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