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Impaired driver who killed woman, critically injured sister, sentenced in Central Saanich crash

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An impaired driver who struck two sisters, killing one and critically injuring the other, near Victoria in 2018, has been sentenced to three and a half years behind bars.

Anthony Leslie Jonathon Thomas was found guilty in March of six charges, including impaired driving causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm. He was sentenced Wednesday to 42 months in prison and a five-year driving prohibition.

The Crown prosecution said Thomas, 26 years old at the time of the crash, had methamphetamine and Xanax in his system when he struck and killed 51-year-old Kim Ward while she was walking on the side of a road in Central Saanich, B.C.

The victim's 48-year-old sister, Tracy Ward, was also hit and was taken to hospital in critical condition with a traumatic brain injury.

The crash, which happened in the 7600-block of Central Saanich Road on Aug. 27, 2018, also killed Tracy's dog, while Thomas was treated in hospital for minor injuries.

Police said the Jeep Cherokee that Thomas was driving crossed into the oncoming lane before striking the sisters and the dog.

Thomas was convicted on March 28 of one count each of impaired driving causing death; impaired driving causing bodily harm; dangerous driving causing death; dangerous driving causing bodily harm; causing an accident resulting in death; and causing an accident resulting in bodily harm.

Kim Ward was walking with her sister along Central Saanich Road when a Jeep struck them from behind. Ward was pronounced dead at the scene. (Facebook)

In July, a B.C. judge awarded Tracy and her mother nearly $5.5 million in damages in a civil case against three defendants – Thomas, his family friend Aggatha Siah, and a Victoria auto dealership.

The Jeep that Thomas was driving at the time of the crash belonged to Harris Victoria Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Ltd., which gave the vehicle to Siah while her financing to buy it was still pending.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Brenda Brown found that Thomas was ultimately liable for Tracy's injuries.

The judge concluded that Siah was not yet the legal owner of the Jeep, which still belonged to the dealership, making the dealership vicariously liable for the damages.

Harris Victoria argued that Siah was the owner of the Jeep or, alternatively, that it had not consented to Thomas driving the vehicle.

Brown rejected those arguments, concluding that the purchase agreement the dealership relied upon as proof that Siah was the vehicle's owner was never intended to be a binding agreement, but rather a temporary measure to allow a buyer to drive a newly purchased vehicle off the lot in the form of an extended test drive.

Most of the $5.49 million in damages for which Thomas and Harris Victoria were held liable was based on an estimate of future care needs for Tracy, who has been living in a long-term care home since she left the hospital.

The judge also ordered the liable parties to pay $550,000 for Ward's loss of future earnings, $414,000 in non-pecuniary damages, $333,235.55 in special damages and $195,600 for income Ward has already lost due to the crash.

With files from CTV News Vancouver Island's Ian Holliday 

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