Im­pa­tience costs frus­trated driver

He grew an­gry while stuck in con­struc­tion zone

The Sudbury Star - - LOCAL - HAROLD CARMICHAEL [email protected]­ Twit­ter: @HaroldCarmichae

The bizarre case of a Bri­tish Columbia man who grew im­pa­tient wait­ing in traf­fic in the Es­panola area, sped off and al­most hit a flag­per­son be­fore run­ning over py­lons came to a con­clu­sion Wed­nes­day.

Ali Ha­jizadeh, 51, was not present at the Sud­bury Court­house to en­ter a plea to the High­way Traf­fic Act charge of care­less driv­ing, but his lawyer, De­nis Michel, did on his be­half with the con­sent of the Crown.

Ha­jizadeh was fined $1,000, the amount be­ing sug­gested in a joint sen­tenc­ing sub­mis­sion by the Crown and Michel, and did take into ac­count Ha­jizadeh had made a char­i­ta­ble do­na­tion of $1,500 to the Royal Columbian Hospital in his home province.

Ha­jizadeh, the court heard, owns and op­er­ates a car deal­er­ship in Bri­tish Columbia and owns an­other in Ot­tawa, which he has some­one run for him.

“I’m some­what com­forted by the fact he has paid the $1,500 on top of the fine,” said On­tario Court Jus­tice John Keast. “(But) these are bad facts. Crashed into py­lons on a closed area of the four-laned stretch (of High­way 17). There may have been many more peo­ple in close prox­im­ity to where this oc­curred. It’s for­tu­nate no­body was in­jured in the cir­cum­stances.”

The Crown heard Ha­jizadeh was driv­ing a 2013 Ford Econo­line van that was stopped on a sec­tion of High­way 17 in the Es­panola area that was un­der­go­ing re­con­struc­tion Oct. 2. Work crews no­ticed that Ha­jizadeh had traf­fic cones from a con­struc­tion site in his ve­hi­cle, the cones hav­ing a value of about $1,000. After a dis­cus­sion with mem­bers of the work crew, Ha­jizadeh sud­denly ac­cel­er­ated his ve­hi­cle.

“A worker had to jump out of the way to avoid be­ing struck,” said as­sis­tant Crown at­tor­ney Cather­ine Han­suld. “He left at a high rate of speed. He did stop, did re­move the traf­fic cones and threw them in the ditch. He did drive er­rat­i­cally.”

Michel said it was the flag­per­son who jumped out of the way.

“It had been some 45 min­utes,” he said. “There was no con­struc­tion go­ing on. He got out of his car, got into a ver­bal al­ter­ca­tion with them. ”Michel said Ha­jizadeh felt threat­ened in the sit­u­a­tion, he pan­icked, got into his ve­hi­cle and sped off. The lawyer added Ha­jizadeh did run over py­lons, but did stop fur­ther up the high­way and threw them away.

“He should have stayed there (the scene of the con­ver­sa­tion with the work crew) and called the po­lice,” said Michel.

Han­suld said it was an ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tor that the reck­less driv­ing oc­curred in a con­struc­tion zone and in­volved “dis­re­gard for the safety of others. ”But the as­sis­tant Crown at­tor­ney also noted that mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors in the case were that no one was hurt and Ha­jizadeh did not have a prior record.

As a re­sult of the guilty plea, two Crim­i­nal Code charges Ha­jizadeh was fac­ing – dan­ger­ous driv­ing and theft un­der $5,000 – were with­drawn by the Crown.

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