‘We don’t want anybody else to die because of his driving’

SURREY – The Crown is seeking six to eight years in prison for 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.

Prosecutor Winston Sayson also asked Judge Peder Gulbransen to prohibit the driver, Andrew Ostrowski, from getting behind the wheel for life.

“What will it take – what will it take – to stop him from driving?” Sayson asked. “We don’t want anyone else to die because of his driving.”

Ostrowski, now 28, was 23 when the crash happened on Sept. 6th, 2011. Driving while impaired, and while subject to an indefinite driving prohibition, Ostrowski ran a red light, entering the intersection of 88th Avenue and 132nd Street 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.

Twenty minutes after the crash, police found Ostrowski 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.

Ostrowski claimed a pal of Martinez whom he didn’t know had been the driver, but Gulbransen didn’t believe it. He found “many aspects” of Ostrowski’s testimony “unbelievable.”

Gulbransen found Ostrowski guilty on May 22, 2014, in Surrey provincial court, of impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, and failing to stop knowing that death or bodily harm resulted.

His sentencing hearing has since been delayed four times. The Crown delivered its submission on Monday but the matter was adjourned because defence lawyer Stephen Hutchison lost his voice.

“This has been going on too long,” Gulbransen said. “I just don’t want this to drag on any further.”

Ostrowski eventually admitted he had been the driver, almost three years after the fact.

Sayson said Ostrowski ran off because he didn’t want to be arrested for a robbery to which he later pleaded guilty.

“He knew his friend was dying, and he left,” Sayson told the court. “This is the ultimate act of selfishness.

“He left him to die because he didn’t want to be arrested on warrants.”

Hutchison is expected to reveal what the defence considers to be an appropriate sentence on April 8.