Devin Edmiston has been sentenced to almost five years in prison after pleading guilty a year ago to two counts of dangerous driving causing death and one count of bodily harm in a Yukon crash.
The 28-year-old man from Manitoba received his sentence in Whitehorse in a full courtroom, with the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the fatal crash in attendance.
The collision happened three years ago near Marsh Lake, a few kilometres outside of Whitehorse. Judge Gurmail Gill said the crash was entirely preventable, and carried an impact that was "crippling and enduring."
Gill said one of his reasons for the length of the sentence was that Edmiston knew his behaviour was unsafe: he had never held a driver's license, had received multiple tickets for speeding, and no one in the car wore their seatbelts at the time of the crash.
Edmiston was driving his girlfriend Nicole Sanderson's car on July 5, 2020 when he tried to overtake another vehicle that was already travelling at high speed in a no-passing zone on the Alaska Highway near the Lewes River bridge.
The area includes a hill and a corner where traffic is hard to see.
Edmiston bumped into the other vehicle when he tried to pull back into his lane to avoid oncoming traffic, causing both to spin out of control. The car Edmiston was driving struck oncoming Whitehorse motorcyclist Travis Adams, a 43-year-old Whitehorse father of three, who was killed instantly.
Sanderson, 47, was in the car with Edmiston. She was severely injured and died at the scene. A third passenger in the car was also injured, but survived.
Crown attorney Noel Sinclair told CBC News he's pleased with the sentence.
"His judgment sends a very strong message of ... denunciation for those people who considered driving recklessly and dangerously on Yukon's highways," he said.
Gill said he also considered Edmiston's young age and his troubled childhood — which included stints of foster care and abuse — when making his decision.
He said even though Edmiston was sentenced in Whitehorse, he endorsed having him imprison in Manitoba to receive better local support and eventually a better chance at reintegrating.