Kings County man jailed for drinking and driving crash that sent 3 to hospital

·2 min read
Stephen Paul Collings leaves P.E.I. Supreme Court Jan. 21.  He was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in jail, having previously pleaded guilty to three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.  (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)
Stephen Paul Collings leaves P.E.I. Supreme Court Jan. 21. He was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in jail, having previously pleaded guilty to three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)

An Island judge says drinking and driving crimes continue on P.E.I. with "alarming frequency" as she sentenced a man to jail for a crash near Montague two years ago that sent three people to hospital.

Stephen Paul Collings, 42, was sentenced Wednesday in P.E.I. Supreme Court in Charlottetown to 15 months in jail. After he's released he'll be on probation for two years and he won't be allowed to drive for three years.

Two men and a woman were passengers in the car Collings was driving Aug. 18, 2019 on Route 17 in Gaspereaux. The car went into a ditch and hit a culvert. All three passengers were ejected from the vehicle. Collings was also injured. He left the crash scene on foot, and was later found by paramedics at a residence in the area.

Court heard previously that he had a blood-alcohol reading of between 122 to 177 at the time of the crash. The legal limit is 80.

The female passenger spent 10 weeks in hospital after she was airlifted to Halifax with life threatening injuries.

It is a crime that has life altering repercussions - Chief Justice Tracey Clements

Chief Justice Tracey Clements said the severity of the injuries, the number of victims, and Collings' high blood-alcohol reading were aggravating factors in determining the sentence.

"Drinking and driving is not just a poor decision. It is a crime that has life altering repercussions," said Clements. "These offences continue with alarming frequency."

Collings had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm. At a sentencing hearing in January, he apologized to the victims and to paramedics.

In court Wednesday, Clements noted Collings has a full-time job and his employer wants him back when his jail sentence is over.

Crown prosecutor Chad White had recommended a sentence of 18 months to two years in jail. Defence lawyer Brendan Hubley recommended eight to 10 months in jail.

Once he finishes his jail sentence, Clements has been ordered to perform 50 hours of community service work.

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