Man pleads guilty to impaired and dangerous driving charges in fatal west Edmonton collision

A 41-year-old man has pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm for his role in a collision that left one man dead in May 2020.

Ebraheem Jomha was originally charged with one count each of: impaired driving causing death, impaired driving over 80 mg causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, impaired driving over 80 mg causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

The charges stemmed from a head-on collision that happened in west Edmonton on May 27, 2020, which left 75-year-old Walter McLean dead.

Walter and Doreen McLean were together for 54 years. Courtesy: Tamie McLean

McLean was driving his van east along 100 Avenue near 167 Street when he was struck by a Ford F-150, which was heading west in the eastbound lanes of the one-way street. McLean was pronounced dead at the scene.

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There were three other people in the van at the time: McLean’s wife, Doreen McLean — who died a couple of months after the collision following a stroke — their grandson David Quewezance, who was 32 at the time, and their great-grandson Lucas Quewezance, who was three at the time of the crash.

All three passengers were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Read more: Impaired driving charges laid in fatal west Edmonton collision

According to the agreed statement of facts, Jomha was impaired by alcohol when the crash happened. Six bottles of alcohol were found in the truck after the crash, five of which were empty.

Just after 5:30 p.m. on the day of the collision, people in the area noticed Jomha driving his truck around residential and commercial areas, both speeding and driving below the posted the speed limit. He was swerving, squealing his tires, went through a stop sign and narrowly avoided colliding with parked vehicles, according to the agreed statement of facts.

At 6:15 p.m., Jomha pulled into the parking lot of a Subway restaurant on the south side of Stony Plain Road and began yelling at a man in the parking lot. The man was one of at least five people to contact police about Jomha’s behaviour prior to the collision.

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Read more: Family loses great-grandparents following crash with alleged impaired driver

After leaving the parking lot, Jomha ended up driving the wrong way down 100 Avenue, which was captured on surveillance video by the EPS West Division Station.

Jomha accelerated to speeds of 119 kilometres per hour on 110 Avenue, which has a speed limit of 60 km/h, the agreed statement of facts reads.

Court heard Jomha was driving 118 km/h at the time of the collision and had hit the brakes at the time of impact. McLean was driving 29 km/h when the crash happened, as he was slowing down to prepare to turn at 167 Street.

Jomha hit some barricades before driving into McLean’s van. The force of the collision resulted in the F-150 ending up on its side. Most of the damage to McLean’s van was at the front driver’s side.

A forensic pathologist determined McLean suffered severe head and neck injuries in the collision, including a laceration of his brainstem. McLean’s cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries caused by the collision.

Click to play video: 'Elderly woman passes away weeks after husband killed in fatal crash in west Edmonton'

Elderly woman passes away weeks after husband killed in fatal crash in west Edmonton

After the crash, Doreen McLean got out of the van and was assisted by emergency crews. She suffered a fractured sternum, swelling to her head, abdominal bruising, a torn knee ligament and other internal abrasions and bruises. She was released from hospital the night after the collision.

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David Quewezance suffered a concussion, as well as injuries to his head, neck, shoulder and back, including spinal stenosis and hearing loss. He has not fully recovered from the injuries.

Lucas Quewezance has belt rash and a bruise from the chest clip of his car seat.

Eileen Ledger, Doreen McLean’s sister, was crying in the courtroom Friday as the agreed statement of facts was read.

“I can remember the day this happened,” she recalled. Ledger arrived at the scene of the crash within five minutes of receiving a call from her sister. “It was horrible.”

Ledger said the guilty pleas do not make her feel any better about the loss she’s suffered.

“Walter was a wonderful man. He was a very loving husband. He idolized my sister Doreen. Everything was Doreen, Doreen. He loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Ledger said, adding Walter and Doreen were together since Doreen was 17 years old.

“What Ebraheem has done to our family, to Walter and Doreen’s children, to their grandchildren, to their siblings has made a really big void in our lives.”

Ledger said being around their grandchildren gave Walter and Doreen life.

“That was snuffed out,” Ledger said.

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She urged people to take a taxi or call for a safe ride if they’re going to drink.

“Don’t drive. You destroy lives. You destroy many lives, not only the person you kill but a whole community. You destroy so much. What for? It could be prevented.”

Ledger said she hopes to one day be able to forgive Jomha.

A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.

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