A Kitchener man has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison in connection to a fatal impaired driving crash last fall that killed a young London mother.
Ahmed Darwish, 26, pleaded guilty on March 6 to impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, and failing to provide a breath sample, in connection to the Nov. 27, 2016 collision.
On Monday, Darwish was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison, less six months for time served in pre-sentence custody.
Darwish had been driving 214 km/h on Hwy. 7 in Wilmot Township, just west of Kitchener, when he slammed into the back of a Mazda carrying 29-year-old Susana Dumitru, her 29-year-old husband Razvan, their two-month-old son George, and Razvan’s mother.
Susana, who was sitting in the backseat with George, was ejected from the vehicle and died. A funeral service for her was held in Romania in December.
George was airlifted to a Toronto hospital where he spent several weeks on life support to treat a major brain injury. It’s unclear if he’ll ever fully recover.
Lawyer Hal Mattson represented Darwish, and says the sentence wasn’t a surprise.
“It’s very difficult because the poor husband had his wife taken away from him, the child has brain damage, and on the other hand, my client’s mother is going to be denied having her son around while he’s in penitentiary, so it was a no-win situation for anybody today,” he told AM980. “He had to get a jail sentence.”
This wasn’t the first time the 26-year-old had been convicted of driving while intoxicated. Darwish had a previous drunk driving conviction in 2009. Following the crash in November, he refused a breathalyzer test 17 times at the police station.
Mattson said part of the reason Darwish entered the guilty plea was to keep the case from dragging on through the courts. As part of the sentence, Darwish cannot drive for 10 years, he said.
“It’s like a lot of these cases, once they sober up, and if they’re a normal citizen, it eats them up as much as it does… I hate to say this, but it probably eats them up as much as it does the family of the deceased,” Mattson said.
“They have to live the rest of their life with the fact that they killed somebody when they were drunk.”
— With files from Matthew Trevithick and Scott Monich