Based on his otherwise unblemished record, a truck driver who killed a woman three years ago on Highway 3 near Hedley should be sentenced to house arrest, his lawyer argued Thursday before a Penticton judge.
Andreys Malyshev, 49, was convicted of dangerous driving causing death after a two-day trial earlier this year in provincial court.
The victim was 27-year-old Alanna Dunn, a mother of two, who was on her way to work at the Copper Mountain Mine near Princeton in the early morning hours of March 22, 2019.
She died when her car was crushed by the container Malyshev was transporting. The container, which was loaded with a wine bladder, was on its way from Delta to Oliver.
Key evidence at the trial came from Malyshev’s own dash cam, whose footage covers about 70 kilometers leading up to the crash site and ending when the truck tipped over on its side.
The video shows Malyshev’s truck crossing the center line 27 times before the collision, Judge Shannon Keyes said in his ruling in April.
The posted speed limit at the crash site about five miles west of Hedley is 100km/h, although many warning signs recommended a speed of 60km/h. Data from Malyshev’s truck showed he was traveling at 78 km/h immediately before the crash.
“I think the reason he was driving in the opposite lane and/or crossing the center line for so much of his trip that night was that he was literally cutting corners to go faster,” Keyes said.
As a result of that recklessness, Crown attorney Andrew Vandersluys on Thursday recommended a prison sentence in the range of three to five years.
Vandersluys cited as aggravating factors Malyshev’s pattern of dangerous driving leading up to the crash, the higher standards to which professional drivers are held and Malyshev’s failure to obey warning signs.
In response, defense lawyer Corey Armor highlighted his client’s otherwise spotless driving record, dating back eight years to when Malyshev emigrated to Canada from Russia, and compliance with bail conditions pending trial.
Armor noted that his client returned to work as a truck driver after the crash and encountered no further difficulties on the roads until the Insurance Corporation of BC pulled his driver’s license in August 2022 in connection with an unpaid civil judgment in the case.
Malyshev is a devoted father of a 12-year-old son and wants to become a permanent resident of Canada, Armor said in arguing for leniency.
“No matter what sentence this court hands down, unfortunately you will not be brought back,” Armour said.
Malyshev, who lives in West Kelowna and works in the construction industry, apologized through a Russian interpreter when given a change to address the court.
“Your honor, I feel every deep regret and remorse for what happened. I never expected it to happen and never intended it to happen,” he said.
“If I could only change one thing about the situation, I would love to do it. I feel some pain in my life.”
Judge Keyes is expected to make his decision early in the new year.