Jail time for driver who led police on drunken chase
James Hermelyn sentenced to eight months for wrong-way pursuit in Peterborough
Justice Robert Beniger has sentenced a 23-year-old man to jail for driving drunk in a police chase that ended in a T-bone crash at a busy intersection in Peterborough.
At around 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 13, 2018, city police observed James Hermelyn make a U-turn while driving a white Mercedes SUV on George Street and travel in the wrong direction on the one-way street.
The pursuit ended at the corner of Water Street and Parkhill Road West when Hermelyn ran a red light and T-boned another vehicle, resulting in serious injuries for the 55-year-old driver.
The Special Investigations Unit has since cleared the city police officer involved in the pursuit. According to the SIU, while some aspects of pursuit were concerning, the totality of the evidence didn’t meet the threshold required to charge the officer with dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
SIU documents say Hermelyn was travelling over double the speed limit and didn’t stop when the officer activated emergency lights and sirens.
After the car chase came to an end with the SUV coming to a stop in the Subway and 2 for 1 Pizza parking lot, Hermelyn exited the SUV and fled from the police on foot. Officers chased Hermelyn for two blocks before apprehending him.
He was charged with impaired driving, driving with more than 80 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of blood, failing to stop for police, dangerous driving causing bodily harm and failing to stop at an accident. Hermelyn then pleaded guilty to driving with more than 80 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of blood and failing to stop at a collision.
On Aug. 8, Justice Beninger sentenced him to six months in jail for the over 80 charge and another two months for failing to stop at a collision.
He was also handed 12 months of probation.
The driver of the white SUV (at right) involved in this crash after a police pursuit on Jan. 13, 2018, has been sentenced to eight months in jail.