Gabriel found guilty in 2018 ATV fatality

·2 min read

CORNWALL – The driver of an ATV charged in connection with a fatal crash on Broken Second Road north west of Iroquois was found guilty.

Montana Gabriel, now 22, of South Dundas, was charged in the crash which resulted in the death of 18 year-old Jasmine Saunders and serious injury to 18 year-old Chasity Shedrick.

Gabriel faced several charges including impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, criminal negligence causing death, and criminal negligence causing bodily harm stemming from the crash.

The 10 day trial in September heard evidence that Gabriel had been drinking before operating the ATV. A reconstruction of the August 16th, 2018 accident, presented as testimony at the trial said that Gabriel travelled on the opposite side of the road to traffic, left the roadway, entered a ditch before encountering a culvert and an incline to a field. The ATV became airborne and struck an open gate, rolled in the ditch and threw the driver and two passengers from the ATV. Officers testified that the three women were found by relatives shortly after midnight on August 17th who then called 9-1-1.

Gabriel was found to have 76 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood when her first breath sample was administered by police in hospital more than four hours after the crash occurred.

Saunders suffered a traumatic brain injury from the crash and died more than two months later. Shedrick suffered serious injuries from the crash and was hospitalized for two weeks.

Justice Nathalie Champagne convicted Gabriel in her ruling on November 20th, 2020.

“In my view, there is no question that Ms. Gabriel’s actions meet a standard of criminal liability,” said Justice Champagne in her judgment. “Ms. Gabriel made a series of negligent decisions which led to the serious injury of Ms. Shedrick and the death of Ms. Saunders.”

Gabriel will return to court February 19th for sentencing.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader