Dangerous Operation of a Conveyance Causing Bodily Harm or Death (Sentencing Cases)

From Criminal Law Notebook
This page was last substantively updated or reviewed January 2024. (Rev. # 90647)

Offence Wording

Dangerous operation

320.13 (1) Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public.

Operation causing bodily harm

(2) Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public and, as a result, causes bodily harm to another person.

Operation causing death

(3) Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public and, as a result, causes the death of another person.

2018, c. 21, s. 15

CCC (CanLII), (DOJ)


Note up: 320.13(1), (2) and (3)


Defined terms: "conveyance" (s. 320.11)

Punishment

320.19
[omitted (1), (2), (3) and (4)]

Punishment — dangerous operation and other offences

(5) Everyone who commits an offence under subsection 320.13(1) [dangerous operation] or 320.16(1) [failure to stop after accident], section 320.17 [flight from peace officer] or subsection 320.18(1) [operation while prohibited] is liable

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years; or
(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day.

2018, c. 21, s. 15.

CCC (CanLII), (DOJ)


Note up: 320.19(5)

Causing Bodily Harm

Case Name Prv. Crt. Sentence Summary
R v Skardiute, 2023 ONCJ 10 (CanLII), per Schwarzl J ON PC
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Keywords: None
R v Yogeswaran, 2021 ONSC 5920 (CanLII), per Stribopoulos J ON SC
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Keywords: None
R v Markos, 2019 ONCA 80 (CanLII), per curiam ON CA
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Keywords: None
R v Currie, 2018 ONCA 218 (CanLII), per curiam ON CA
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Keywords: None
R v Fairchild, 2017 ONCJ 658 (CanLII), per Nadel J ON PC 18 months imprisonment "Pleaded guilty; Head on collision; driving on wrong side of road at 124 – 136 km/h in 60 zone; BAC 74-118 mg/100 ml together with lorazepam; One victim suffered two broken legs, rod in left femur and plate in right femur; crushed right knee; left knee permanently damaged; fractured right ankle; blunt force trauma to skull; 8 months in hospital; major permanent limitations on mobility; cannot drive; in wheelchair; PTSD and major depressive disorder; Other victim suffered bruised ribs, dislocated left thumb; whiplash neck and lower spine; bruised hip; lost 50% use of left thumb; No record; 3 driving offences; history of sexual abuse and psychiatric disorders; remorseful; attempted suicide after offence and engaged in counselling and volunteer work"
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Keywords: None
R v Markos, 2017 ONSC 1497 (CanLII), per Morgan J ON SC 12 months imprisonment "Found guilty after trial; Offender drove motorcycle too fast, passing cars by whipping around them to the left and then to the right in between two lanes of vehicles; collided with car turning in front of him, falling off motorcycle, which continued on, striking victim walking on Yonge Street sidewalk; 67 year old victim suffered spinal fractures, facial and cranial damages, broken vertebrae, ribs, and other bones; lengthy hospitalization and in need of constant medical attention; Offender has supportive family network, genuinely sorry but denies being at fault or doing anything wrong; no alcohol involved; only minor HTA driving offences in past." [1]
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Keywords: None
R v Rayner, 2014 ONCJ 246 (CanLII), per Harris J ON PC 60 days imprisonment
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Keywords: None
R v Bourgault, 2014 QCCA 273 (CanLII), per Savard JA QC CA
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Keywords: None
R v Rawn, 2012 ONCA 487 (CanLII), per Epstein J ON CA
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Keywords: None
R v Puyenbroek, 2007 ONCA 824 (CanLII), per Feldman JA ON CA
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Keywords: None

Causing Death

Case Name Prv. Crt. Sentence Summary
R v Gladue, 2023 ABKB 130 (CanLII), per Mah J AB SC
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Keywords: None
R v Boutrous, 2023 ONCJ 266 (CanLII), per Dellandrea J ON PC
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Keywords: None
R v Benjumea, 2022 ABQB 44 (CanLII), per Michalyshyn J AB SC
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Keywords: None
R v Saunders, 2021 ONSC 6149 (CanLII), per Beaudoin J ON SC
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Keywords: None
R v Theriault, 2021 NWTSC 17 (CanLII), per Smallwood J NWT SC "Theriault is a case of a five and a half year sentence for one count of dangerous driving causing death and four of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. The circumstances of the offence included impairment and excessive speed. Smallwood J considered the 2019 Bill C-46 amendments that increased the maximum penalty for the offence to life imprisonment. The circumstances of the offender included a related criminal record and an active driving prohibition, but also a guilty plea and Gladue factors. With regard to the latter, Smallwood J concluded that for Mr. Theriault, 45 at the time of sentencing, Gladue factors played a part in his criminal history and played a part in him coming before the courts. The Crown sought a sentence of six years for the dangerous driving causing death offence."(Quoting from R v Benjumea, 2022 ABQB 44 (CanLII)), at para 82
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Keywords: None
R v Sidhu, 2019 SKPC 19 (CanLII), per Cardinal J SK PC "Sidhu is the ‘Humboldt Broncos’ case in which Mr. Sidhu, after pleading guilty to dangerous driving resulting in 16 deaths and 13 injured persons, was sentenced to eight years incarceration. Mr. Sidhu was a first offender with no aggravating antecedents and aside from the tragic failure to obey a stop sign, no other aggravating driving pattern. The sentencing judge noted that cases with higher moral blameworthiness yet fewer victims, tended to attracted sentences in the range of six years’ incarceration." (Quoting from R v Benjumea, 2022 ABQB 44 (CanLII)), at para 80
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Keywords: None
R v Singh, 2018 ONSC 4598 (CanLII), per Kurke J ON SC
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Keywords: None
R v Bagri, 2017 BCCA 117 (CanLII), per Willcock JA BC CA 3 years imprisonment It "involved an appeal from a sentence following a conviction on four counts of dangerous driving causing death. Mr. Bagri was a 45‑year‑old professional truck driver who conducted an inadequate brake check prior to a long downhill section of the roadway. Although the ensuing accident was caused by the excessive activation of his engine-retarding “Jake brakes” rather than by any brake failure per se, his conduct, including the perfunctory brake check and exceeding the posted speed limit during sections of the downhill drive, was regarded as evidence of overall intentional risk-taking carrying a high moral culpability resulting in the four deaths. His sentence of three years’ incarceration was upheld on the appeal."(Quoting from R v Edmiston, 2023 YKTC 24 (CanLII)), at para 122
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Keywords: family of 4 victims — jack-knifed car — highway
R v Delellis, 2017 BCSC 2253 (CanLII), per Greyell J BC SC 30 months imprisonment (death)


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Keywords: found guilty — driveay
R v Bhangal, 2016 ONCA 857 (CanLII), per curiam ON CA "the offender, a professional truck driver, struck an oncoming minivan head-on, killing its driver. Mr. Bhangal had fallen asleep at the wheel. He was sentenced to five years’ incarceration and a 15‑year driving prohibition. Having been found guilty of both dangerous driving and criminal negligence causing death, the Court stayed the dangerous driving conviction and sentenced on the criminal negligence offence. Mr. Bhangal was therefore sentenced for an offence more serious than the index case. A clear aggravating factor found by the Court was the offender having deliberately doctored his logs to avoid his rest obligations for the purposes of placing his economic interests ahead of public safety."(Quoting from R v Edmiston, 2023 YKTC 24 (CanLII)), at para 120
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Keywords: None
R v Higginbotham, 2016 SKQB 118 (CanLII), per Acton J SK SC 18 months imprisonment + probation
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Keywords: None
R v O’Leary, 2015 ONSC 6347 (CanLII), per Conlan J ON SC "Conlan, J. imposed a sentence of 18 months for one count of dangerous driving causing death while street racing and 18 months concurrent for one count of dangerous diving causing bodily harm while street racing. The 20-year-old first time offender, with impeccable character references and good prospects, participated in a street race on a relatively busy thoroughfare. His speed was 30-40 kilometres per hour above the posted limit in an 80 kilometres per hour zone. There was a very positive pre-sentence report." (Quoting from R v Mercer, 2018 NLSC 219 (CanLII)), at para 26
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Keywords: None
R v O'Connor, 2014 ABPC 264 (CanLII), per Groves J AB PC 38 months
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Keywords: gladue — FASD
R v Bilodeau, 2013 QCCA 980 (CanLII), per J QC CA "the trial judge, dealing with an 18-year-old offender, imposed a global sentence of 36 months for two counts of dangerous driving causing death while street racing. The sentence duration was not part of the appeal. The two kilometre race, at speeds reaching 137 kilometres per hour, ended with a crash that killed two passengers in the offender’s vehicle. The offender had a prior record for speeding violations." (Quoting from R v Mercer, 2018 NLSC 219 (CanLII)), at para 31
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Keywords: None
R v Carleton, 2012 MBPC 54 (CanLII), per MJ Smith J MB PC 30 days imprisonment kills young pedestrian
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Keywords: None
R v Morgan Taylor, 2012 CanLII 42053 (NL PC), per Mennie J NL PC 36 months imprisonment
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Keywords: None
R v Wallace, 2012 MBCA 54 (CanLII), per MacInnes JA MB CA 2 years less a day CSO
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Keywords: None
R v Smith, 2012 ONSC 3089 (CanLII), per Kelly J ON SC life police chased one death and multiple injuries
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Keywords: None
R v Hodder, 2012 CanLII 24230 (NL PC), per Gorman J NL PC 30 months imprisonment also convicted of causing bodily harm (18 months)--3 and 5 year driving prohibition
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Keywords: None
R v Christink, 2012 ONCA 141 (CanLII), per curiam ON CA 2 years less a day imprisonment dangerous driving causing death to two persons; CSO rejected as unfit
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Keywords: None
R v Butterfield, 2012 SKPC 11 (CanLII), per Kalmakoff J SK PC 9 months imprisonment dangerous operation of a plane causing death; no alcohol involved
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Keywords: None
R v Biring, 2011 BCSC 734 (CanLII), per Joyce J BC SC 2 years less a day CSO
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Keywords: None
R v Regier,
2011 ONCA 557 (CanLII), [2011] OJ No 3749, per curiam
ON CA 6 years imprisonment two young people were killed
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Keywords: None
R v Marona, (2011) 3 MVR (6th) 6 (ABQB)(*no CanLII links) AB SC 2 years imprisonment offender convicted of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and death--hit another vehicle head-on, killing other driver, injuring passenger--7 years driving prohibition
Keywords: None
R v Chikie,
2011 ABQB 420 (CanLII), [2011] AJ No 843 (QB), per Burrows J
AB SC 10 months imprisonment offender was speeding on a motorcycle, lost control and passenger was killed--5 year driving prohibition
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Keywords: None
R v Charles,
2011 BCCA 68 (CanLII), [2011] BCJ No 526 (CA), per Saunders JA
BC CA 3 years imprisonment offender was impaired by alcohol, drove into a pole while turning a corner killing two passengers
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Keywords: None
R v Junkert,
2010 ONCA 549 (CanLII), [2010] OJ No 3387 (CA), per O'Connor ACJ
ON CA 5 years imprisonment offender was impaired while driving and hit a pedestrian
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Keywords: None
R v Brake,
2008 NLTD 175 (CanLII), [2008] NJ No 320 (S.C.), per Goodridge J
NL SC 14 months imprisonment accused drove through a stop sign and collided with another vehicle, killing one occupants and seriously injuring the other.   Three year driving prohibition imposed.
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Keywords: None
R v Berg, 2007 BCCA 343 (CanLII), per Prowse JA BC CA 5.5 years imprisonment street racing, causing death
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Keywords: None
R v Woloshyn, 2006 BCCA 343 (CanLII), per Smith JA (2:1) BC CA 4 years imprisonment prior record, alcohol in work, causing death
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Keywords: None
R v Synard,
2006 NLTD 101 (CanLII), 257 Nfld. & PEIR 341 (NLSC), per Handrigan J
NL SC 18 months imprisonment Offender lost control of car, one passenger injured, suffering broken bones, the other was killed. 5 year driving prohibition
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Keywords: None
R v Coombs,
2004 NLSCTD 85 (CanLII), [2004] NJ No 162 (SC), per Russell J
NL SC 12 months imprisonment offender driving an ATV and hit two pedestrians
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Keywords: None
R v Bhalru, 2003 BCCA 645 (CanLII), per Finch CJ BC CA 2 years less a day CSO causing death
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Keywords: None
R v Gratton, 2003 ABQB 882 (CanLII), per Watson J AB SC "Gratton is a case of an offender convicted after trial and sentenced to seven years incarceration for five counts of dangerous driving causing death plus one year consecutive for leaving the scene of the collision. Again, as I have noted earlier in these reasons, the sentencing judge found Mr. Gratton to be impaired by alcohol. There were few other aggravating factors: there was no related criminal or other record, and the dangerousness of the driving pattern was, relative to that of Mr. Benjumea, quite minimal. Undoubtedly the absence of a mitigating guilty plea and the proven impairment, together with multiple deaths, contributed to the 7-year sentence." (Quoting from R v Benjumea, 2022 ABQB 44 (CanLII)), at para 80
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Keywords: None
R v Ford, [2003] OJ No 3363 (ONCA)(*no CanLII links) ON CA 3 years imprisonment convicted of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and death--offender drove through red light hitting another car, killing one and injuring another
Keywords: None
R v Williams, 2003 ABQB 285 (CanLII), per Greckol J AB SC "Williams pled guilty to charges of dangerous driving causing death, and leaving the scene of an accident. Williams had been at a party where he ingested drugs over the week-end and had little sleep. He was driving a city truck with a trailer attached. Williams made an illegal turn and struck a woman riding a motor cycle. Williams continued without stopping and was eventually stopped by a witness to the accident. The Court of Appeal in a decision reported at (2003) A.J. No. 864 upheld the Conditional Sentence as imposed by Madame Justice Grechol." (Quoting from R v Jackson, 2007 ABPC 198 (CanLII)), at para 19
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Keywords: None
R v Sand, 2002 ABCA 263 (CanLII), per J AB CA 2 years less a day CSO "the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld a Conditional Sentence of two years less one day for an accused who pled guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing death and one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. The respondent passed numerous vehicles on a highway during foggy conditions. Sand was not speeding or impaired, but had prior convictions for impaired driving and for speeding offences in the past six to seven years. In paragraph 12 the Court of Appeal noted that the sentencing Judge concluded that the range of sentence was between 15 and 30 months." (Quoting from R v Jackson, 2007 ABPC 198 (CanLII)), at para 18
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Keywords: None
R v Fox, 2001 ABCA 64 (CanLII), per J AB CA 2 years imprisonment
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Keywords: None
R v Murphy,
1997 CanLII 14613 (NL CA), [1997] NJ No 143 (CA), per Gushue CJ
NL CA $3,000 fine offender was driving on an unsafe road, passenger thrown from vehicle and died--18 month driving prohibition
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Keywords: None
R v Thuma,
1997 CanLII 2507 (BC CA), , (1997) 27 MVR (3d) 157, per Braidwood J
BC CA 6 months imprisonment offender was convicted of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and death--speeding and hit another car--overturn suspended sentence
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Keywords: None
R v Duncan,
1994 CanLII 3386 (PE SCAD), (1994) 3 MVR (3d) 133, per Carruthers CJ
PEI CA 2 years less a day imprisonment offender convicted of criminal negligence causing death--offender drove vehicle through stop sign and hit another vehicle, killing driver
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Keywords: None
R v Mosher, (1994) 3 MVR (3d) 35(*no CanLII links) PEI SC 12 months imprisonment convicted of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and death--while speeding lost control of vehicle, hit another vehicle--also given 3 year driving prohibition
Keywords: None
R v Messervey, [1991] NJ No 380 (PC)(*no CanLII links) NL PC Suspended Sentence offender was driving on a wet road at night, lost control of car on a turn--5 year driving prohibition
Keywords: None
R v Butler, (1987) 5 MVR (2d) 8 (PEISC)(*no CanLII links) PEI SC 3 years imprisonment offender was passing several vehicles and hit one of them, killing three people
Keywords: None

See Also