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Parents of injured teenager want to know how man charged with hitting him was able to drive

Chad and Tara Parsons of Carbonear are focused on their teenager son’s recovery after a SUV collided with him in late November. (Terry Roberts/CBC - image credit)
Chad and Tara Parsons of Carbonear are focused on their teenager son’s recovery after a SUV collided with him in late November. (Terry Roberts/CBC - image credit)
Chad and Tara Parsons of Carbonear are focused on their teenager son’s recovery after a SUV collided with him in late November.
Chad and Tara Parsons of Carbonear are focused on their teenager son’s recovery after a SUV collided with him in late November.

Chad and Tara Parsons of Carbonear are focused on their teenager son’s recovery after a collision last month that left him with a broken leg. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

Chad and Tara Parsons are caring for their teenage son, who was seriously injured after a hit and run in Carbonear, N.L., that left him with a broken leg — and they want to know why a man with a lifetime ban for impaired was able to get behind the wheel of a car.

On Nov. 23, Chad Parsons says, he got a call from his 15-year-old son, Seth, who told him he'd been in an accident while riding his dirt bike on his way home. When Chad and Tara arrived at the scene, they saw police cars, flashing lights, a crowd of people and their son lying on the ground.

He says Seth told them he'd spoken with the man who hit him. According to his son, said Parsons, the man told Seth to get up and he'd be all right. When Seth said he couldn't move, said Parsons, the man got into his vehicle and left.

Tara Parsons says Seth thought the man was going to get help. Instead, she said, the man just left him there, "on the side of the road, by himself."

Seth was taken to the hospital in Carbonear, said Chad Parsons.

"They brought him into the trauma room and right away they're checking everything. Checking his neck, his head, his injury. He's checking his leg. Obviously his femur was broken. They figured it out pretty quick," said Chad Parsons.

Seth was transferred to the Janeway children's hospital in St. John's and there's now a steel rod surgically implanted in their son's thigh bone. He is recovering at home.

History with law

Repeat impaired driver George Malcolm Whalen, 74, has been arrested in connection with the incident. He's now facing charges of failure to stop after an accident causing bodily harm and operation of a motor vehicle while prohibited.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

In 2017 he was convicted in the death of Jane Newhook, 83, of Norman's Cove-Long Cove. As part of his seven-year prison sentence, Whalen's driving privileges were revoked for life.

However, three years ago he was allegedly caught driving, and that charge is still before the courts.

Whalen already had seven previous impaired driving-related convictions dating back to the 1970s, and at the time of the crash that killed Newhook he was also prohibited from driving.

Chad Parsons said they taught their son the rules of the road, and at the time of his accident was wearing a helmet and a suit.
Chad Parsons said they taught their son the rules of the road, and at the time of his accident was wearing a helmet and a suit.

Chad and Tara Parsons say the justice system has failed their son. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

Learning about Whalen's past convictions has been difficult for the Parsons.

"I don't want this man on the street anymore," said Chad Parsons. "He's got to go. He's going to kill another person if this don't change. If we don't get him locked up, he's going to do it again."

Tara Parsons says the justice system failed their family in this case, calling Whalen a "danger to the public."

Whalen was released from custody and is expected back in court in January.

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