Drunk driver gets two years in prison for killing Halifax's Wray Hart
HALIFAX -- Nearly two years after he was charged in connection with the death of Wray Hart, Dennis Donald Patterson is headed to a federal prison.
Patterson previously pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by driving with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.
On Thursday, a provincial court judge sentenced Patterson to two years in prison and three years of probation.
During his probation period, Patterson is not allowed to consume alcohol and must perform 50 hours of community service -- where he is to educate the public about the dangers of impaired driving.
"The way I see it … he took responsibility for what he did," said Anthony Hart, Wray Hart's son.
In January 2018, Patterson struck and killed Hart, a well-known bottle collector, while driving on Queen Street in the south end of Halifax.
As part of the sentencing hearing, an agreed statement of facts was presented.
The court heard Patterson ran a stop sign and was travelling at least 89 km/h in a 50 km/h zone at the time of the fatal crash.
Patterson also had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.
Inside court, Patterson apologized to Hart's family.
Several victim impact statements were submitted from Hart's family and friends.
They described him as a kind and hard-working man who would give you the shirt off his back.
"Hopefully this gets across everywhere's that it's not OK to drink and drive because it does take somebody's life," Anthony Hart said. "It did hurt a lot of people and it will continue. The only thing we can do is remember Wray every day. That's all we can do."
In addition to the prison sentence, Patterson must provide a DNA sample to the national data bank and is not allowed to drive for three years after his release from prison.