Man sentenced in drunk driving crash that killed his best friend
Published Monday, June 10, 2019 2:04PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 10, 2019 6:49PM EDT
Noah Poisson will spend five years behind bars for the deadly crash that killed his best friend, Parker Pautsch in August 2016.
"This terrible loss was clearly avoidable," said Justice Chris De Sa while handing down his sentence on Monday.
The court heard Poisson's blood alcohol level was nearly double the legal limit when he drove his truck off the road in Oro-Medonte near Line 13. The vehicle became airborne and rolled several times before coming to a rest. Pautsch wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the truck. He was killed instantly when it landed on top of him. Poisson had only minor injuries.
Both men were 19 at the time.
"They were both good kids," said the families as they left the courthouse.
During her victim impact statement last month, Parker's mom, Cathy Pautsch, begged the judge to have Poisson give a donation to the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving and deliver talks to teens about the dangers of drinking and driving rather than spend time in jail. The judge revealed this morning that he was moved by her words of mercy for Poisson, but he insisted the court must send a strong message to society. "His decision in context was clearly a choice to take an unnecessary risk. A risk that cost Parker's life, a risk that cost the family their child." He said Poisson had strong prospects for rehabilitation and that it was a factor he considered for sentencing.
Poisson's defence had asked for two years given his deep remorse and clean record before the fatal crash. "There is a message that has to be sent about it, and the courts have indicated that. But is it an unfair sentence? No, it's not. It's higher than we were hoping for, but it's not as high as it could have gone." The Crown was seeking seven years.
In addition to the jail time, Poisson was given a seven-year driving ban.