Five years for fa­tal Bog Road car crash

Accident killed 25-year-old Hants County man’s best friend


A 25-year-old Hants County man has been sen­tenced to five years in jail for charges stem­ming from a car crash that killed his best friend ear­lier this year.

An­drew Blaine Ra­fuse of Lower Vaughan was in Wind­sor pro­vin­cial court Oct. 27, where Judge Alan Tufts sen­tenced him to four years for dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing death and nine months for leav­ing the scene of an accident.

Ra­fuse was also sen­tenced to three months for breach­ing his re­lease con­di­tions by be­ing in a bar last month.

Crown at­tor­ney Bill Fer­gus­son said Ra­fuse was driv­ing his car too fast and er­rat­i­cally when he lost con­trol ap­proach­ing a sin­gle-lane bridge on the Bog Road in Mount Den­son in the early morn­ing of June 22.

The car hit the bridge and ended up on its side.

Dashonn States, 22, was in the front pas­sen­ger seat. He was thrown from the ve­hi­cle and pinned underneath the car, which ended up on its side. He was pro­nounced dead at the scene when paramedics ar­rived.

Two other pas­sen­gers — a 20- year- old woman and a 16-year-old girl — were in­jured.

Fer­gus­son said state­ments from the two other pas­sen­gers and Ra­fuse him­self in­di­cated that he had con­sumed three beers be­fore go­ing to a house party, about five beers there, and then more after they left, and were driv­ing around Kings and Hants coun­ties.

Ra­fuse also snorted a crushedup painkiller at the party and put some co­caine on his fin­ger­tip and then on his tongue, Fer­gus­son said.

He said the sur­viv­ing pas­sen­gers told po­lice that Ra­fuse was speed­ing and “driv­ing crazy,” and that they had asked him to slow down.

At one point he was driv­ing 160 km/h on High­way 101.

After the crash, Fer­gus­son said, the two sur­viv­ing pas­sen­gers went to a nearby house to get help and Ra­fuse left the scene on foot. He was picked up about nine hours later by the fa­ther of one of the pas­sen­gers while walk­ing along the side of a road. That made it im­pos­si­ble to de­ter­mine what his blood-al­co­hol level was at the time of the crash.

De­fence lawyer Chris Man­ning said a video record­ing by one of the girls showed Ra­fuse look­ing back at the girl just be­fore re­al­iz­ing he was head­ing too close to one side of the bridge but over­cor­rected and hit the other side.

He said Ra­fuse tried to pull States free from un­der the car, but couldn’t un­til the pas­sen­gers came back and helped.

Man­ning said when the pas- sen­gers went to the neigh­bour­ing house again and Ra­fuse heard sirens, he left the scene and ran into the woods.

Fer­gus­son asked for a prison term of five to seven years, while Man­ning sug­gested one to three.

“Dan­ger­ous driv­ing, and dan­ger­ous driv­ing after con­sum­ing al­co­hol, is a se­ri­ous of­fence,” Tufts said in hand­ing down his de­ci­sion. “This of­fence car­ried the most se­ri­ous con­se­quences, be­cause an in­no­cent man lost his life.”

Ra­fuse pleaded guilty to the charges in Au­gust. Charges of im­paired driv­ing caus­ing death and crim­i­nal neg­li­gence caus­ing death were with­drawn.

In a vic­tim im­pact state­ment read in court, States’ sis­ter, Chelsa States, said she has to look at her brother’s pic­ture ev­ery day to re­mind her­self that she won’t see him again.

She said that dur­ing her clin­i­cal place­ment at the Hants Com- mu­nity Hospi­tal in Wind­sor as part of her stud­ies to be a nurse, she was af­fected ev­ery time she heard there were pa­tients on their way in from a car crash.

“I want to hear him laugh one more time,” she said. “My brother was robbed of his fu­ture. He wanted to get mar­ried and have chil­dren.”

States’ mother, Tina Marie Da­gley-Ma­son, said she fell to the floor when she was given the news that her son had died.

“My world had shat­tered,” she said in her state­ment, which she also read in court. She went to the bridge and saw the smashed car, which had not yet been re­moved as po­lice con­tin­ued their in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Part of my soul died at that bridge,” she said. “I am numb, a shell of my­self.”

She said since her son died she hasn’t been sleep­ing well, and wakes up with night ter­rors and tears stream­ing down her face.

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