23-Year-Old Impaired Driver Sentenced to Seven (7) Years Following Cyclist’s Death

Update:

23-year-old Darya Selinevich was sentenced to seven (7) years today, after her drinking and driving on June 11, 2015 resulted in the death of 44-year-old cyclist Zhi Yong Kang. Kang left behind his 15-year-old son. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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A 23-year-old repeat drunk driver who killed a Toronto cyclist and fled police at 200 km-h was sent to jail Wednesday.

Darya Selinevich, a former highly regarded law clerk and aspiring paralegal, appeared stoic as a judge sentenced her to seven years, reduced to four and a half years in acknowledgment of time already spent in jail since the June 11, 2015 crash that killed Zhi Yong Kang, the 44-year-old father of a 15-year-old boy.

Just one month before drinking heavily and slamming a BMW into Kang at almost double the speed limit, as he pedaled along Finch Ave. W., Selinevich had received a one-year-driving ban for speeding with double the legal limit of alcohol in her system — intoxication so severe she passed out at a police station.

After leaving Kang dying on the ground shortly after midnight, Selinevich raced through the residential neighbourhood, swerved around a police car and ran a red light before pulling into a strip mall and fleeing from the car which kept moving with locked doors.

At the time of her arrest, the Richmond Hill woman’s social media accounts glorified drinking and driving with photos of a wine bottle in a car, a speedometer at 202.5 km-h and a R.I.D.E. poster with her added joke that ride-home options, in addition to a bus, cab, police car or ambulance, were “option 5, my car.”

Yulian Liao, Kang’s ex-wife and the mom of their son, sobbed quietly as Justice Leslie Pringle described the crash in grisly detail before sentencing Selinevich for her admitted crimes of impaired driving causing death, failing to stop at the scene and for police, refusing to provide a breath sample and driving while disqualified.

Just one month before drinking heavily and slamming a BMW into Kang at almost double the speed limit, as he pedaled along Finch Ave. W., Selinevich had received a one-year-driving ban for speeding with double the legal limit of alcohol in her system — intoxication so severe she passed out at a police station. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

The jail term came as pedestrians and cyclists are dying on Toronto streets at an alarming rate, and safety advocates demand legal reforms in hopes of saving lives and reflecting the toll drivers can take.

In many cases drivers who are at fault when they kill someone, but not drunk and do not flee, receive a fine of $1,000 or less under provincial traffic laws rather than face Criminal Code sanctions like Selinevich.

Det.-Const. Arthur Lane of Toronto police traffic services said outside court the Kang family remains “devastated” but he is satisfied with the jail term.

“In previous years we’ve had low sentences and so I’m glad to see that the sentences now are starting to move up in duration,” Lane said. “Society’s looking at these cases in a more serious light and that’s going to be helpful.

“The public should know that this kind of activity is absolutely abhorrent . . .”

Darya Selinevich, 23, has received a jail sentence for the June 2015 crash that killed cyclist Zhi Yong Kang, 44, on Finch Ave. W. at Tobermory Dr. Selinevich, had previously been convicted of drunk driving.
23-year-old Darya Selinevich. (FACEBOOK)

Court heard Kang was exceptionally smart, graduated from “the Harvard of China” before moving to Canada, had a “maverick” personality and played sports and cycled with his beloved son.

Dong Kang said in a victim impact statement he was “deeply hurt” by his younger brother’s violent death and has struggled with depression and other health problems since the crash shortly after their father’s death.

Still, in her statement, Kang’s ex-wife said the family hopes the young woman one day achieves her dream of becoming a paralegal and has the same strong family supports as the cyclist she killed.

“Above all, we hope she has more patience in whatever she might do in the future,” Liao wrote. “We would like her to know we are immensely comforted by our family and friends surrounding us.”

Court heard Selinevich, originally from Russia, dropped York University law and society studies after a co-op placement led to a job as a law clerk/legal assistant. In a letter to court a former employer described her as intelligent and trustworthy.

But she ran with “high risk” friends and binge drank, especially after the deaths of four friends within two years, court heard. She is now a model prisoner, studying life skills, substance abuse, international business and, by correspondence, “dozens of bible studies” with an average of 95.9 per cent.

Selinevich did not address the court, saying “Yes” quietly when the judge asked if she understood her sentence.

“You are clearly someone who is intelligent, you are clearly someone who has the potential to learn from the horrendous crimes that have been committed in this case,” the judge said. “Good luck.”

 

Ontario amends laws for Tow Truck Services and Storage Services effective Jan.1/17

Update:

Bill 15, Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act will force approximately 1,200 tow truck businesses and 3,000 tow truck drivers in Ontario to change their practices beginning on Jan.1/17. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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A parking enforcement officer speaking to a tow truck operator, while he is putting a car on the lift. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Ontario is reminding consumers that, as of January 1, 2017, new requirements are in place for tow truck or vehicle storage services designed to increase transparency and strengthen consumer protection.

The new changes will ensure tow and storage providers:

  • Have permission from the consumer or someone acting on their behalf before towing or storing a vehicle
  • Publicly disclose rates and other information such as the provider’s name and telephone number on tow trucks as well as in places of business
  • Accept credit card payments from consumers (and not insist on cash only)
  • Notify consumers where their vehicle will be towed
  • Allow consumers to access their towed vehicles to remove personal property at no charge between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on all business days
  • Give consumers an itemized invoice listing the services provided and costs before receiving payment
  • Disclose if they are getting a financial incentive for towing a vehicle to a particular vehicle storage facility or repair shop.

Protecting consumers is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Ontario is increasing transparency for drivers using towing and vehicle storage services. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Quick Facts:

  • There are approximately 1,200 tow truck businesses, with 3,000 tow truck drivers in Ontario.
  • Sixteen Ontario municipalities currently have by-laws that license towing businesses.
  • The new rules are being brought forward as a result of changes made by Bill 15, Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act.
  • The province is also taking action to improve the safety of tow trucks and their operators by including tow trucks in the province’s existing Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration system as of January 1, 2017. This change will improve road safety through government monitoring and enforcement measures.

Additional Resources:

Toronto road tolls, championed by Mayor John Tory, OK’d at executive committee

Update:

Nathan Philips Square which contains Toronto's City Hall. The parking ticket counter at Metro Hall at 55 John Street will close today and be temporarily re-located to the main floor at Toronto's City Hall at 100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Tory’s motion to implement the road tolls — which could cost around $2 per trip — was approved, although with some amendments introduced by other councillors, including a potential yearly cap on how much commuters will pay in tolls. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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Hotel and short-term accomodation tax also clears major city hall hurdle after debate.

Mayor John Tory’s executive committee unanimously approved moving forward with road tolls for the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway on Thursday, though not without some fierce debate.

Council voted 24-21 in favour of the so-called hybrid plan for the eastern section of the Gardiner Expressway, which runs from Jarvis Street to the Don Valley Parkway.
Gardiner expressway, east of the DVP. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Council will also consider a tax on hotels and short-term accommodations, like Airbnb rentals. The city won’t, however, seek permission from the province to tax alcohol or tobacco sales, an option that had been tabled at the beginning of the day.

The budget committee, meanwhile, will be asked to look at the possibility of introducing a 0.5 per cent property tax levy that will be directed to the City Building Fund. It will also consider changing the land transfer tax rebates given to first-time homebuyers so they are in line with the new rules unveiled by the province last month.

Motorists entering this ramp from Bay street will now be soon be paying for the opportunity to drive on the Gardiner Expressway or the Don Valley Parkway. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

The city is grappling with how to pay for $33 billion worth of major transit and infrastructure projects.

Tory’s motion to implement the road tolls — which could cost around $2 per trip — was approved, although with some amendments introduced by other councillors, including a potential yearly cap on how much commuters will pay in tolls.

Queen's Park. Tow Trucks in the GTA took their "awareness campaign" to Queen's Park this morning, in an effort to inform the motoring public and other tow truck operators of the government's plans under Bill 15, specifically placing tow truck driver's under the authority of the CVOR. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Queen’s Park. City council would still have to approve road tolls before they come into effect. The city would also need approval from Queen’s Park. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

City council would still have to approve road tolls before they come into effect. The city would also need approval from Queen’s Park tolls in.

Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who represents Ward 34, Don Valley East, introduced the motion calling on city council to cap the amount Torontonians will pay on tolls per year, though he declined to set a specific amount.

“My residents are affected more than any other community in the city,” he said.

“You have to spread the pain of these revenue tools.”

Minnan-Wong’s motion also suggested looking at how the tolls will be collected, suggesting a dynamic pricing model could be put in place.

The executive committee also unanimously approved a motion by Coun. David Shiner that recommends asking the province to exempt any road tolls from the Harmonized Sales Tax.

Drivers may not like paying the tolls, Shiner said, but they’d hate “paying a tax on a tax.”

Budget Chief Gary Crawford, meanwhile, defended dropping the potential alcohol and tobacco taxes, saying the revenue tools the executive committee did approve were the fairest, most affordable and most transparent.

Gardiner Expressway. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Tory wants to impose a toll of roughly $2 on the two major highways leading to Toronto’s downtown core. photo by fightyourtickets.ca.

Some fighting back against taxes

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, who showed up to the meeting with a pair of boxing gloves, told CBC Toronto he is going to fight “every tax and every fee.”

“In a flash, we’ve approved an unprecedented amount of taxes and fees to be looked at without consulting the rest of Toronto,” he said.

Sean Meagher, executive director of the non-profit social justice organization Social Planning Toronto, expressed concern that road tolls would affect the budget years from now, but are not an immediate fix.

“The city manager’s named a bunch of very useful tools — things like harmonizing the land transfer tax, closing some tax loopholes for corporations,” he said.

“Those are things we can have in the immediate term.”

‘A step in the right direction’

Potential road toll revenue is earmarked for transit and infrastructure projects. With this plan, city council is “finally beginning to take action on fighting congestion and building more transit,” Tory said during a midday news conference.

But Tory has previously said that, while road tolls will raise about $200 million annually, the potential revenue would still fall short of addressing all the city’s transit needs.

“It’s a really good start but it’s not going to be sufficient,” said City Manager Peter Wallace during the morning meeting session.

Speaking to CBC Toronto, Coun. Joe Cressy, who represents Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina, said the proposed tolls and taxes are a “a step in the right direction.”

“The city of Toronto doesn’t have the money today to maintain the city we have, let alone the money to build the city we want,” he said.

“And if you’re going to build a strong city, and a fair city, you need to pay for it.”

Tory not backing down

In his news conference, Tory said he’s glad to have a “good, open, lengthy discussion” about the proposed revenue tools.

But he coupled this with strong words to anyone opposing the measures, either at city hall or Queen’s Park.

“If they are opposed to road tolls, and some of these other measures as a means for paying for some of these kinds of things, I think they have an obligation to spell out what they would use instead,” Tory said.

Or, he added, detractors should “indicate honestly to the public that they would have no intention of supporting the measures that I believe are absolutely necessary.

Premier Kathleen Wynne Introduces Photo-Radar into Ontario Communities

Update:

Ontario Premier Wynn has renamed Photo Radar (as Automated speed enforcement or(ASE) technology) which will now be introduced on municipal roads, which takes pictures of speeders' licence plates and is already used in many parts of North America and Europe, and for community safety zones and school zones. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Ontario Premier Wynne has renamed Photo Radar (as Automated speed enforcement or(ASE) technology) which will now be introduced on municipal roads, which take pictures of speeders’ licence plates in Ontario’s community safety zones and school zones. The legislation that she will pass, will allow municipalities to lower default speed limits from 50 km/h down to 40 or even 30 km/h. photo by fightyourtickets.ca.

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Red Light Camera at the intersection of Gerrard Street West and University Avenue
Wynn has committed to streamline the process for Ontario cities to introduce red light cameras at every intersection in every municipality. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Ontario intends to introduce legislation that would target unsafe drivers and help protect school children, seniors, other pedestrians and cyclists.

Premier Wynn will allow cities to install photo radar in any community safety zone or school zone. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Premier Wynn will allow cities to install photo radar in any community safety zone or school zone. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Ottawa today to announce intended legislation that, if passed, would give municipalities more tools to improve safety in community safety zones and school zones.

These measures would include:

  • Automated speed enforcement (ASE) technology on municipal roads, which takes pictures of speeders’ licence plates and is already used in many parts of North America and Europe, and for community safety zones and school zones
  • The ability to create zones with reduced speed limits to decrease the severity of pedestrian-vehicle collisions in urban areas
  • A streamlined process for municipalities to participate in Ontario’s Red Light Camera program without the need for lengthy regulatory approval.

    If you are convicted of speeding in a community safety zone, the fine that must be paid, is doubled. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
    If you are convicted of speeding in a community safety zone, the fine that must be paid, is doubled. photo by fightyourtickets.ca.

 

Ontario has heard from municipalities seeking to improve safety in their communities in the wake of collisions involving children, seniors, other pedestrians and cyclists, and is proposing these changes as a result.

Making roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians of all ages by giving municipalities options to enforce traffic laws is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

 

 

 

 

Quick Facts:

  • Speed is one of the biggest killers on Ontario’s roads: 14 per cent of all people killed on our roads in 2013 died in collisions where speed was a factor.
  • In 2013, approximately three out of every four speed-related collisions occurred on municipal roads.
  • Studies show that lowering the speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h in urban areas would reduce the number of deaths by half.

 

 

Driver who ran red light and killed cyclist sentenced to 2 years in jail

Update:

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The intersection was shut down after Adrian Dudzicki, 23 was hit by Aleksev. Photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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Aleksey Aleksev, 23, was convicted of criminal negligence causing death earlier this year

Adrian Dudzicki, 23, was cycling to squash practice on the morning he was killed by a driver who recklessly sped through a red light at an intersection in North York.

The now 23-year-old driver, Aleksey Aleksev, was sentenced Wednesday to a jail term of two years less a day, three years of probation and a ban on driving for 15 years.

Earlier this year Superior Court Justice Gary Trotter found Aleksev guilty of dangerous driving causing death, criminal negligence causing death and, unusually, manslaughter.

However, in his Wednesday ruling, Trotter said he would be sentencing Aleksev on the count of criminal negligence causing death and staying the two other convictions since the law prohibits a person from being convicted on multiple counts for the same offence.

He stressed that his decision to sentence Aleksev for criminal negligence causing death rather than manslaughter made no difference to the sentence and does not diminish the severity of the crime or the devastation to Dudzicki’s family.

Trotter noted that this case did not involve alcohol or drugs; Aleksev claimed he was distracted by adjusting the heating or the radio shortly before the November 2013 crash.

“This case is a sad reminder of the devastation that can be caused by the egregious conduct of a sober driver,” Trotter said.

He referred to the many victim impact statements submitted by Dudzicki’s family and friends, quoting the words of his parents.

“My life will never be the same again. He was all I had,” his mother Ewa Dudzicka told the court.

“There is just emptiness,” his father Jaroslaw Dudzicki said. “There is no hope.”

After the ruling, Jaroslaw Dudzicki said he had been hoping the court process would lead to closure, but he still has many unanswered questions.

Among them, what responsibility Aleksev’s parents carry for allowing their son to continue driving recklessly. Aleksev had a history of driving infractions, including speeding tickets, court heard.

“How did he get behind the wheel?” Dudzicki said.