Chilliwack man sentenced to 180 days jail for dramatic hit-and-run

Cody Bianco convicted on two counts but acquitted of impaired driving and two other charges

A young man was led away in handcuffs out of courtroom 205 at the Chilliwack Law Courts Monday sentenced to six months in jail for a dramatic hit-and-run that seriously injured a female pedestrian.

Judge Robert Gunnell described Cody Bianco’s driving in the incident two and a half years ago as “horrendous.”

And that was after the hit-and-run, when the now 27-year-old continued speeding east on Wellington Road the wrong way on the one-way stretch, nearly striking members of a band loading up after a gig at the pub, all before crashing into a pedestrian island at Five Corners.

“There is a high degree of moral blameworthiness,” Gunnell said before handing down the sentence of 120 days for fleeing the scene after colliding with the woman, and 60 days to run consecutive for the dangerous driving after the fact.

Because the case was largely circumstantial – with Bianco’s lawyer putting forth highly speculative suggestions on what might have happened – he escaped a much more serious sentence as he was found not guilty at trial on three counts: impaired driving causing bodily harm, causing an accident resulting in bodily harm, and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

The incident dates back to Sept. 27, 2015 when Kelsey Archer and her husband James Archer were at a party on the Skwah First Nation reserve at the end of Wellington Road. Kelsey testified that Bianco was also there, he made unwanted advances towards her, and a fight ensued between Bianco and Mr. Archer.

The Archers left the party and proceeded to walk down Wellington Avenue towards downtown. That’s when Kelsey was struck from behind by Bianco, who fled.

Moments later, at closing time at the Triple Play Pub at Five Corners, three members of the band Rockabilly Jay & The Cadillac Bones were loading up gear out front when they heard a loud bang and saw Bianco speeding towards them.

One band member estimated Bianco was travelling at between 80 and 100 km/h.

Also witnessing the crash was RCMP officer Sgt. Mike Sargent who happened to be stopped on Young Road at a red light. Bianco got out of the car and urinated in front of the officer who then arrested him.

Before sentencing Bianco, the court heard how the hit-and-run impacted Kelsey Archer.

“She suffered very significant injuries for which she still still suffers today,” Gunnell said. “She suffers serious anxiety today.”

Despite the seriousness of the offences, Gunnell pointed to Bianco’s lack of a criminal record, an apology letter he wrote to the victim, life changes he made stopping the consumption of alcohol, his employment aspirations, and the stigma resulting from media coverage, all as reasons for a sentence well below the maximum.

His defence asked the court for a suspended sentence, probation and community service under “exceptional circumstances” given his good behaviour.

Gunnell ruled a custodial sentence was needed to express the principle of general deterrence.

Since he spent two nights in custody, Bianco was given credit for three days leaving him with a 177-day sentence. He is also prohibited from driving for two years.

READ MORE: Final arguments in downtown Chilliwack hit-and-run trial

READ MORE: Charter challenges partially successful in Chilliwack hit-and-run case


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Christmas cheer, crafts and music at Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries

Make festive ornaments out of old books while enjoying Christmas music at Chilliwack libraries

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

Chilliwack company faces charges for 2017 abuse of chickens

CFIA investigation leads to 38 charges against Elite Farm Services and Ontario-based Sofina Foods

Water-filled ditch had pump going to prevent flooding in Chilliwack

City crews monitoring site on Ashwell Road after heavy rain hit Chilliwack Wednesday

Snow prayers answered as Manning Park ski hill opens Friday

Ski hill will be open seven days a week starting Dec. 14, and cross-country trails as well

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Most Read