The man convicted of crashing into two sisters, killing one and severely injuring the other, in Central Saanich in 2018 has lost his appeal to have some of his convictions overturned.
On Aug. 27, 2018, sisters Tracy Ann and Kim Ward were walking with Kim’s dog, Finn, when Thomas fell asleep at the wheel, crossing the centre line and striking the trio who were walking on the shoulder.
Kim and her dog Finn were killed on impact, while Tracy was taken to hospital for severe, life-threatening injuries, including brain trauma that left her with no sight in one eye and half her body paralyzed.
In a criminal trial, the court heard that the driver, Anthony Thomas — was under the influence of a cocktail of drugs, including methamphetamines, amphetamines and a benzodiazepine.
In 2022, he was found guilty of six charges: Impaired driving, impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death, dangerous driving causing bodily harm and having a blood drug concentration of meth in excess of any limit.
Thomas was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for the six charges but appealed the decision, saying that the evidence was circumstantial and that he may have fallen asleep at the wheel due to “natural factors,” like exhaustion, and not necessarily as a result of the drugs.
He added that he believed the judge erred by saying he was responsible for his actions while he was asleep, as he was not in control of the vehicle.
In its decision posted Tuesday, B.C.’s Court of Appeal was unmoved by those arguments and upheld Thomas’ convictions, though a conditional stay was ordered for the two lesser charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing death.
His other convictions, including the more serious impaired driving-related charges, remain in place and his sentencing remains unchanged.
After his 3.5-year jail sentence is complete, Thomas is prohibited from driving for five years.
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With files from CHEK’s Kori Sidaway