by Andrew Fleming
A Surrey man who caused a horrific accident while drunk behind the wheel was in Surrey Provincial Court on Wednesday (Oct. 5) for a sentencing hearing after pleading guilty to several charges.
Crown Counsel Kim Wendel told the court blood samples taken after his arrest indicate Christopher Malloy, 52, was between three to five times above the legal limit for driving when he clipped a car from behind while driving west on Fraser Highway in January 2015. Instead of stopping, he stepped on the gas and blew through a red light at the intersection of 152 Street at a speed witnesses estimate at around 150 km/h, more than double the speed limit of 60 km/h, Wendel said.
A few blocks later, Malloy’s Hyundai Santa Fe rear-ended a vehicle driven by Gurb Aujla, a father of four who was returning home from hockey practice with his 10-year-old son. The impact sent the Aujlas’ Saturn Vue into oncoming traffic, where it was struck a second time by a Toyota Tacoma driven by Georgia Yost, a community college student and young mother of four.
Aujla, now 54, was left paralyzed from the chest down by the accident, while both his son and Yost received significant injuries that linger to this day.
Wendel told the court two passing Good Samaritans who stopped to assist said they were called “Pakis” and “terrorists” by Malloy, who escaped without any major injuries but had to be cut out of his vehicle by firefighters after it ended up in the ditch. Firefighters who responded to the scene described Malloy’s behaviour as “aggressive” and “combative,” crown said.
Malloy has pled guilty to multiple charges of impaired charges causing bodily harm as well as single count of failing to remain at the scene of an accident and is facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail. Wendel asked Judge Danny Sudeyko for a prison sentence in the “upper range” of 12 to 18 months and 60 days to be served consecutively for failing to remain at the scene. while defence lawyer Sarah Leamon argued that a similar sentence in the “lower range” would be more appropriate given Malloy’s early guilty plea, remorse and because he has both quit drinking and is undergoing counselling to treat his long, self-admitted history of alcoholism.
Malloy, wearing a polo shirt and denim pants, offered a brief apology to his victims.
“I can never say or do anything to repair it,” said Malloy in a choked voice while facing the judge. “I just want to apologize to everyone.”
While Malloy has no criminal record, his driving history shows numerous infractions dating back to 1987. He has received a total of six 24-hour driving prohibitions in the last eight years as well as a 90-day driving ban for refusing a roadside breathalyzer test in 2014.
The court heard several victim impact statements from the Aujla family and their supporters describing the financial and emotional devastation the incident has caused them.
Aujla, a former longshoreman and the family’s sole bread-winner, said he doesn’t think a sentence of 12 to 18 months is nearly enough and didn’t accept the offered apology for ruining his life.
“If he was really sorry, he could’ve at least turned around and looked at us,” said Aujla outside the courtroom after the proceeding was over. “What does a person have to do to get 10 years?”
Judge Sudeyko is scheduled to deliver a sentence Oct. 26.