The Ontario Provincial Police say a woman has been charged with multiple offences, including impaired driving, after already having served jail time for killing a cyclist while impaired in 2015.
On Sunday, at around 8 p.m., the OPP received numerous calls from concerned citizens about a vehicle driving erratically southbound on Highway 400 between Barrie and Toronto.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the driver initially did not stop but police were able to pull the vehicle over along the highway near King Road.
Schmidt said officers gave the driver a roadside test, which she failed, and tested over two times the legal limit for alcohol.
Police have now charged Darya Selinevich, a 27-year-old woman from Richmond Hill with numerous offences, including impaired driving, impaired with excess blood alcohol, operation while prohibited, driving under suspension, and possession of drugs (specifically cocaine, Schmidt said) while operating a motor vehicle.
“Again, thanks to the members of the public who called in this dangerous driver and thanks to the officers who were able to get into position to get this vehicle stopped before someone got injured or before someone got killed,” Schmidt said.
“A fatality may have been averted,” he added.
This is not the first time Selinevich has faced impaired driving charges.
On June 11, 2015 at around 12:19 a.m., 44-year-old Zhi Yong Kang was riding his bicycle on Finch Avenue West approaching Tobermory Drive when he was struck and killed.
According to court documents, Selinevich who was 22 years old at the time, was impaired and allegedly driving at about 110 km/h along Finch Avenue West, where the posted speed limit was 60 km/h, when she hit Kang.
Kang was pronounced dead on scene.
Police allege Selinevich fled the scene and continued driving her significantly damaged vehicle when she was stopped a short time later by officers.
Selinevich did not provide a sample of her breath after police told her Kang had died, according to the court documents, but officers said, “There was a very strong odour of alcohol” coming from her breath. She later admitted that she had consumed a significant amount of alcohol.
On September 12, 2016, Selinevich pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death, failing to stop at the scene of the accident, failing to stop for police, refusing to provide a breath sample and driving while disqualified.
Months later, in January 2017, the judge had sentenced Selinevich to seven years in prison, but after credit for pre-trial custody her sentence was reduced to 4.5 years.
In addition to her custodial sentence, the judge imposed a driving prohibition of 10 years on Selinevich.
Prior to Kang’s death, Selinevich had pleaded guilty to a previous drinking and driving offence a month earlier on May 12, 2015. At that time, she admitted to driving with over 80 mg of alcohol in her blood in September 2013.
She was sentenced to a $1,200 fine for that offence and was prohibited to driving for one year, according to court documents.
The court documents also indicated Selinevich had a prior driving record with three speeding tickets for driving at speeds well above the legal limit in 2012, and in 2014 she was found guilty of disobeying a red light in 2013.
“At the present time, she owes $3084 in relation to her criminal and provincial driving-related fines,” the documents read.
In 2011 and 2012, Selinevich was studying Law and Society at York University and had graduated high school with honours, the court documents said. She later secured work at a number of law offices and withdrew from the university.
According to Parole Board of Canada documents obtained by Global News, Selinevich was granted day parole in January 2018 and full parole in October of that year after spending three years and four months in prison.
The board noted that Selinevich said that she would never drink again and the board believed her, saying, “You are committed and motivated to remain sober.”
In its decision, the board found that Selinevich demonstrated that she understood the impact her actions had on the victims and her remorse appeared genuine.
“When discussing your index offences, you became emotional. It was evident to the board that you are still affected by your decision to drive under the influence that night, which resulted in the loss of life,” the board wrote.
“When the board asked you why you had driven that night, you said you did not think about the consequences. You stated that you did not stop at the scene of the collision because you got scared and panicked.”
The board asked Selinevich if she had informed her parents about her first impaired driving conviction to which she said she had not, telling them she was working during the week and spending time with friends on weekends.
When asked whether her parents wondered where her car was as it would have been impounded after her arrest, she said she told them it was in the garage for repairs. Selinevich said her parents only learned about the first driving conviction after being arrested for the index offence when she remained in custody.
The board wrote it granted Selinevich day parole in January 2018 as she had begun to address her primary risk factor — alcohol abuse. She was released into a supervised community residential facility with special conditions not to consume alcohol, follow a treatment plan and avoid drinking establishments.
In July 2018, a panel hearing was held to review Selinevich’s application for full parole at which time it was found that she was working full-time with a former employer, volunteering at marathons, participating in university courses offered within the correctional system and attending seminars at university. The board noted she was taking weekend passes to her family’s home with no noted incidents.
Her plan upon full release, which was granted that October was to reside with her family who remained supportive, continue to work, volunteer, study and “be a productive member of society.” The document stated that Selinevich was expected to remain transparent with members of her case management team, maintain employment and remain intoxicant free.
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) recommended that full parole be granted stating that Selinevich’s risk was manageable with the proposed release plan and strategy. The CSC stated it was the next logical step in her reintegration, but if granted that it be with the conditions Selinevich avoid drinking establishments and not drink alcohol.
The Parole Board of Canada concluded by saying that Selinevich “appeared committed to a life of sobriety” and that she had taken steps to address her substance abuse problem by attending Alcoholics Anonymous and attending the Smart Recovery Program.
At the end of the hearing, Selinevich’s parole officer called her “a role model to other residents of the community residential facility and had accepted full responsibility” for her offences.
The board wrote it agreed with the CSC recommendation and granted full parole.
“It is the board’s opinion that you will not present an undue risk to society if released and that your release will contribute to the protection of society by facilitating your reintegration into society as a law-abiding citizen,” the documents said.
Selinevich was released with the conditions that she abstain from alcohol and avoid drinking establishments to reduce her risk of recidivism.