More than four years after O’Jay Sabater was killed when a car crossed the centre line and struck his motorcycle on Toronto’s Parkside Drive, the motorist who caused the crash has been fined $5,000 and given two years probation, including 200 hours of community service, and a one-year driving prohibition between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Sabater’s family is disappointed with the sentence, wondering what kind of punishment a driving ban is if La Twayne Anderson, who pleaded guilty to careless driving causing death, can still drive. His lawyer, Frank Alfano argued at a sentencing hearing last December that his client should still be allowed to drive for employment purposes or to perform community service.
“Most people are sleeping between the hours of 11 and 7 p.m. and I would hope he would be doing the same thing so I really don’t see that as a punishment at all,” Sabater’s sister L.J. Tang, who believes there should have been a complete ban on his driving privileges, told Global News.
“People do take the bus or taxis to get to work or to get to community service. That’s what their punishment is in order for them to review and think of what they’ve done to cause this punishment.”
“I mean this guy got a slap on the wrist and we don’t even know what caused it,” said Jessica Sabater, who said it’s been a painful four years waiting for justice.
According to the facts, on Sept. 15, 2018, Anderson was operating a 2008 BMW 128i southbound on Parkside Drive near Indian Valley Crescent around 2:40 am when he swerved for unknown reasons, crossed the centre line and struck the 2015 motorcycle being driven by Sabater. The 45-year-old was thrown from the bike and later died from his injuries. Sabater’s passenger was also seriously injured.
A charge of careless driving causing bodily harm was stayed.
It was never established what caused Anderson to lose control of the BMW. During the sentencing hearing, provincial prosecutor Jamie MacPherson told the court Anderson was the first person charged in Toronto under new careless driving legislation that came into effect on Sept. 1, 2018, which increased penalties to a fine between $2,000 and $50,000, or a term of imprisonment of not more than two years, and up to a five-year driving ban.
Justice of the peace Donald W. Buchanan of the Ontario court of justice said Anderson, who is now 27, will have to live with bad memories for the rest of his life and remember the harm and devastation he’s caused.
Before court ended, Buchanan told Anderson, “I hope you can have a productive life. You still have a lot to offer.”
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.