Traffic Report: Man awaiting sentence after crashing car into restaurant killing toddler

White car with significantly damaged front hood and headlight.
White car with significantly damaged front hood and headlight. Stock photo by Getty Images.

This week’s roundup highlights the most basic of driving lessons: thou shall not drive your car into a building.

A sentencing hearing was conducted this week for a man who crashed his SUV into the upscale restaurant — Ric’s Grill—in Edmonton in 2013. The crash resulted in the death of a two-year old whose family was celebrating his success at potty training that night.

Richard Suter, 65, has pleaded guilty to refusing to provide a breath sample in a motor vehicle accident resulting in death. Suter has maintained he was not drunk at the time. The sentence is yet to be determined. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

The mother of the deceased toddler delivered a victim statement, in which she highlighted: “I hate myself for not being able to protect him. To lose a child is to lose everything that’s right in the world.”

Suter says last January he was blindfolded by men pretending to be cops, abducted, and his thumb was cut off. It’s not apparent whether his abduction was, in any way, related to the car crash of 2013.

Court finds woman guilty for crashing car into Costco store killing two

In a similar story from London, Ont., a 66-year old woman who reversed her car into a Costco store and killed a 6-year old girl and her sister was convicted of dangerous driving causing death and causing bodily harm. Ruth Burger will be sentenced later this month.

Burger maintained her foot got struck in between the brake and gas pedals as she was reversing out of her parking spot. She apparently couldn’t stop the vehicle in time before it crashed into the store.

Burger’s car hit 6-year old, Addison Hall, and her mother, who was eight months pregnant at the time. The car also hit Addison’s three-year old sister. Addison’s mother had to undergo an emergency C-section, but the newborn did not survive. The three year-old was significantly injured but survived.

Addison’s father, Eric Hall, told reporters he doesn’t believe Burger’s explanation but forgives her. Hall expressed: “I can’t imagine what she’s feeling.”

Addison’s organs were donated. This story is a reminder that driving a vehicle, a seemingly trivial and mundane task, must be done with utmost care and responsibility at all times.

Charges stayed against man who killed three in car accident

Speaking of dangerous driving causing death, Brandon McGregor, 23, was driving a truck on Highway 97 near Vernon, B.C., when his vehicle crossed the centreline and crashed into another car. The collision killed the truck passenger, a 19-year old, and the elderly couple who occupied the other car.

McGregor’s trial was supposed to start this week but the Crown stayed the charges because new evidence showed McGregor crossed the centerline due to medical reasons. Nothing more has been disclosed due to privacy reasons.

The staying of charges means the Crown discontinues prosecution and withdraws the charges. A medical emergency, such as having a sudden seizure or stroke behind the wheel, can constitute a defence to a number of driving crimes.

Find a Lawyer