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Foreign worker sentenced for dangerous driving

A man who was drunk behind the wheel and ran over a boy at a party in 2008 received a 19-month jail sentence.

A man who was drunk behind the wheel and ran over a boy at a party in 2008 received a 19-month jail sentence.

Diego Ramos-Martinez, 24, was sentenced Friday in Westlock Provincial Court following guilty pleas in October to dangerous driving causing bodily harm and breaching his release conditions.

The Mexican citizen who was in Canada on a temporary work visa was given two-for-one credit for the eight months he has spent in pre-sentence custody, so he will spend three more months in prison before being deported to Mexico. He was also given a three-year driving ban, ordered to provide a DNA sample, and given a 10-year weapon prohibition.

“What resulted from your dangerous driving has caused the victim and his family a lot of anguish,” Judge Larry Nemirsky said. “The remaining time to be served is three months in jail.”

Ramos-Martinez, who was assisted by an interpreter, apologized to the victim who was in court.

“I would like to apologize for what happened,” he said. “It was a terrible accident and I didn’t mean for it to happen. If I could changes places with you I would.”

Crown prosecutor Alicia Wendel and defence lawyer Darin Slafarek provided a joint sentencing recommendation of 18-24 months in prison. Wendel suggested aggravating factors to be considered should be that Ramos-Martinez chose to drive after drinking a “significant amount of alcohol,” and that he did not stop to help the victim.

“I would suggest that is a cowardly and selfish act,” she said.

Wendel and Slafarek provided an agreed statement of facts about the incident when Ramos-Martinez initially entered a plea in October 2010.

In the early morning hours of Aug. 10, 2008, Ramos-Martinez went to a party near Clyde.

“During the time that the accused was present several witnesses observed the accused drinking beer and tequila,” the statement reads in part. Based on the amount he consumed, witnesses believed he was “severely intoxicated.”

At about 4:45 that morning, two people walking towards a parking area on the property saw Ramos-Martinez driving a mini van towards them. The van did not stop, and struck one of the two, dragging him under it. The victim’s mother arrived on the scene and saw Ramos-Martinez still in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. A 911 call was made, and ambulance crews responded.

Police arrived at about 6:20 a.m., and were told that Ramos-Martinez, along with two friends, had left the scene on foot. Police eventually found them.

The victim suffered severe injuries, including a broken vertebra, a torn colon and internal bleeding. He now suffers from chronic pain and is scheduled to undergo another surgery later this month.