AMHERST – Charles Henry Polley, 52, of Pugwash, was sentenced in Nova Scotia supreme court in Amherst on Wednesday to four years, six months custody, plus a 20-year driving prohibition, after pleading guilty to criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle causing the death of another person.
The incident occurred Sept. 4, 2011, in Pugwash Junction.
In a statement of admissions Polley admitted he “drove his truck while significantly impaired and in such a manner that he caused the death of his passenger,” a 51-yearold male.
The statement says that on Sept. 3, 2011, Polley had attended a pig roast at a house located on Pugwash Junction Road.
Polley and the 51-year-old male visited the party while Polley was driving his mothers van.
They returned later with Polley driving his truck. Both Polley and the 51-year-old were impaired by alcohol.
The statement says, “It is unclear as to how much, if any, alcohol Polley drank while at the property…”
But a witness said the two had been drinking all day while trying to fix a car, and another witness recalled the 51-year-old with a drink on his first visit to the pig roast.
“At least three witnesses observed Polley doing power turns or doughnuts,” in the driveway said the statement.
One witness approached Polley and told him to drive more carefully given the large number of people walking around the yard.
The same witness observed the 51-year-old passed out in the passenger seat and noted a strong odour of liquor emanating from within the vehicle.
The witness observed Polley drive away westbound at a high rate of speed, and a few minutes later the witness said she saw Polley’s truck returning eastbound at a higher rate of speed.
The witness then heard the collision.
Other witnesses corroborated the accounts of the witness.
“Several witnesses saw the return run, all describing it as high speed or extremely or excessively fast. One put the speed at well over 120,” (km/h).
There is a corner in the road just beyond where the pig roast was. The corner is marked with a 60-km/h sign.
Polley’s truck lost traction on the road and hit a guard rail, “while maintaining enough momentum to launch itself a further 150 feet across a small creek, hitting the ground and vaulting onto its roof,” said the statement of admissions.
The 51-year-old was thrown from the vehicle and killed by “blunt force injuries of chest and abdomen.”
Polley remained in the vehicle and was assisted out of the vehicle by somebody who responded to the collision.
The statement says Polley appears to have wandered from the scene as responders looked for the 51-year-old.
The scene was in almost complete darkness and Polley was found passed out in a ditch a short distance away.
When discovered by a firefighter Polley awoke and asked, “was it my mothers van I smashed?”
Polley was taken to the hospital for examination and, also, a blood sample was demanded from him.
“An expert alcohol analyst extrapolated the (blood alcohol) reading to the time of driving and, depending on the rate of which Polley eliminated alcohol, his reading would have been between 140 mg and 190 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood at the time of driving. The deceased reading was 208 mg.,” said the statement.
Polley gave a statement to police stating he had no memory of the events, saying his last memory was being with the 51-year-old while they worked on the 51-year-old son’s car, and that his first memory after the collision was waking up in the ditch and someone telling him not to move.