“Incoherent story” doesn’t add up

·2 min read

A London woman’s attempt to explain how her car ended up in the ditch off the 402 last year wasn’t cutting it with police.

The accident took place in the early morning hours of Sept. 19 when Lambton OPP were called to a highway crash in Plympton-Wyoming. Officers arrived to find a long stretch of tire marks leaving the highway and continuing through the shoulder off the road.

In the ditch where the marks ended lay a Chevy Cobalt on its side. Inside was Cassandra Powers, who despite the crash was unharmed.

When questioned, Powers, 20, said there’d actually been a man driving the car. She even gave a description of the supposed person. But her story, which police described as “incoherent”, unravelled quickly. This was largely because she was the only person in the car or in the area.

Also not helping her case were slow and sedated speech, bloodshot eyes and a strong smell of alcohol. Unable to find a buyer for her story, Powers finally admitted she’d indeed been driving and was the car’s lone occupant.

Officers arrested Powers and took her to the Petrolia OPP station where she blew a .140 reading on the blood alcohol test.

In Sarnia Court May 10 the Crown asked for an elevated fine of $1,900. Crown Attorney Ryan Iaquinta referenced her high alcohol readings, the crash on a major highway and her status as a G2 driver. The novice licence level comes with a no alcohol condition while driving.

Defence Lawyer Ryan Venables suggested a penalty of $200 less and no probation. He says his client has refocused since then and taken steps to address personal issues.

“Some things came up and she became emotional and she made this poor decision obviously,” says Venables. “She’s revaluated the role of many things in her life.”

Justice Anne McFadyen agreed with the $1,900 fine proposed by the Crown but agreed with the Defence that probation wasn’t necessary because of the steps Powers has taken on her own.

Powers also received a one year driving ban.

Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent

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