A Chilliwack man who fell asleep at the wheel after a crystal meth and alcohol-fuelled night leading to a collision that killed a pregnant woman on Highway 1 was sentenced in provincial court on Thursday.
Judge David Silverman agreed to the joint submission from Crown and defence for Frank Marx Tessman who pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention under the Motor Vehicle Act.
Silverman handed Tessman a sentence of 30 days jail, a fine of $1,000, and an 18-month driving prohibition.
At the sentencing hearing held Jan. 31, the court heard that after picking up his disability cheque in Chilliwack on May 25, 2018, Tessman met a woman with whom he drank eight to 10 beers and smoked meth until approximately 5 or 6 a.m. After sleeping for a few hours, he got in his white Chevy pickup to drive to Kelowna.
As the former truck driver drove east near Herrling Island on that dry, warm day, Justin and Tahya Lloyd were travelling westbound for a Vancouver weekend getaway.
|Frank Tessman pleaded guilty to a May 2018 crash on Highway 1 that killed a pregnant woman from Kelowna. (Facebook)|
Tessman fell asleep at the wheel, his vehicle careened across the median and, travelling at speeds close to 150 km/h, he collided with the Lloyds’ Toyota Tacoma head-on.
Tahya Lloyd, a beloved Kelowna school teacher who was 31 years old at the time, was five months pregnant with the couple’s first child.
She died at the scene.
Her husband and Tessman were both seriously injured and airlifted to Royal Columbian Hospital.
There were tears all around in courtroom 203 on Jan. 31 as Justin read his victim impact statement, and Crown counsel Carolyn Kramer read victim impact statements from Tahya’s mother and others who knew her.
“In a few seconds, the woman I love, my unborn child, and my physical health was taken from me and the course of my life was changed forever,” Justin said.
While the court heard that Tessman partied all night, police did not have enough evidence to prove he was impaired, which is why no criminal charges were laid.
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