A 21 year old Edmonton driver who drunkenly traded seats with his friend shortly before he crashed into a tree at high speeds was given a 90 day jail sentence Monday.
In October, Kelton James Rossi pleaded guilty to three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm after the May 2013 crash nearly killed one of his passengers.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Rossi and his friends emerged from a night of drinking in the river valley and piled into a car, with a 19 year old driver who didn't have a licence behind the wheel. While headed west on 102nd Avenue, Rossi became concerned because his friend was "driving erratically, taking turns very quickly and running more than one red light."
The drunk Rossi traded seats with the driver. Shortly after, Rossi veered across two lanes of traffic near 137th Street and crashed into an elm tree at roughly 80 kilometres per hour.
Police later determined Rossi likely passed out behind the wheel.
Though all four people in the vehicle were hurt, 16 year old Katelyn Phillips Derkacz suffered the most serious injuries. She was unconscious when paramedics arrived and remained in a coma for the next 13 days. She required seven operations and lost her right kidney and gallbladder. Her liver was torn into pieces, both her lungs collapsed and seven ribs were broken.
In October, Crown prosecutor Travis Cunningham told court the teenager lost 60 per cent of her muscle mass. Many of her injuries were caused by an improperly worn seatbelt.
The other back seat passenger suffered broken ribs and a punctured liver. The driver, who fled the scene, later went to a doctor for his bruised chest and internal bleeding.
Rossi suffered a concussion, fractured ankle and a broken thumb. His blood alcohol level showed he was nearly twice the legal limit.
Rossi will serve his 90 day sentence on weekends. Once finished his sentence, he will be on probation for two years.
He is also banned from driving for three years.