Woman sentenced to a year in jail after fatal collision in 2018 near Elsipogtog First Nation
MONCTON, N.B. -- On Thursday a Moncton judge sentenced a woman to a year in jail for dangerous driving which killed a 27-year-old man in 2018.
Danielle Lortz, 37 crashed head-on into Ryan Ward’s vehicle on Route 116 near Elsipogtog First Nation, while he was on his way to work at Tim Hortons in Richibucto on Feb. 22, 2018.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Jean-Paul Ouellette sentenced Lortz to twelve months in jail on Thursday. Lortz is also prohibited from driving and will be placed on probation for five years.
Lortz was found guilty by a jury in December 2020.
"You can’t kill someone and get away with it so I’m happy with what she got," said Jessica Ward, the victim’s sister.
Her father, Fred Ward spoke to the risks some drivers take by crossing yellow lines on the road.
"When her year is up, she’ll return to her family, but our son won’t," Fred Ward said.
On Wednesday, the court heard Lortz express her apologies to the family after Jessica Ward shared their victim impact statements.
Lortz said she knew Ryan for years and described him as having a big heart.
She could not explain what happened as she says she had no memory of the crash. Ouellette said no drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident and that the driving conditions were ideal at the time.
In sentencing Lortz, the judge took into account her remorse and her understanding as to how her actions have devastated Ryan’s family.
Lortz’s defence attorney, James Matheson said the outcome is what they had anticipated.
While the defence previously argued the Criminal Code of Canada violated Lortz's rights by making her ineligible for a conditional sentence, she was given a custodial sentence.
The judge dismissed the defence’s application.
"I think we’re all emotionally exhausted," said Matheson when asked if there would be an appeal filed.
"I’ll leave that to the family to decide."
After three years, the family says they are exhausted but they are pleased with the outcome
"We’re glad it’s over. We have more peace now," said Jessica Ward.