Sask. man sentenced in crash that killed his sons, girlfriend released pending appeal
SASKATOON -- A man sentenced to 7.5 years in prison after a fatal crash that left three dead, including two of his children, has been released pending an appeal of his convictions.
In a ruling issued Nov. 28, Justice Jacelyn A. Ryan-Froslie said that while Robert Major’s offences were serious, he only imposes a risk to the public if he drives.
"It appears Mr. Major has made reasonable arrangements for his transportation. I am satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, the safety concern can be addressed by imposing a condition prohibiting Mr. Major from driving and by requiring him to post a $5,000 cash surety."
A jury found Major guilty in January on 12 charges of criminal negligence and dangerous driving causing death in a crash almost three years ago.
On Feb. 22, 2016 Major and six passengers were in a 2012 Dodge pick-up that T-boned a semi-trailer at the intersection of grid road 3083 and Highway 16, west of Langham.
Three of Major’s six passengers died, including Major’s 26-year-old girlfriend Kimberly Oliverio and two of Major’s sons - Brendan, four, and Theodore, nine.
In addition to the prison sentence, he was handed an eight-year driving ban following his release.
Crown lawyer Andrew Davis had argued Major's interim release would pose public safety concerns given Major’s driving record, which includes numerous driving infractions – five of which were incurred in the time after the fatal crash before his trial began, according to the ruling.
Those infractions include three speeding tickets and two incidences of “using, holding, viewing or manipulating” an electronic device (cellphone). Speed and the use of a cellphone were both raised by the Crown as factors contributing to the 2016 crash.
In addition, Mr. Major has been involved in three crashes where he was assessed as being 50 per cent or more at fault, according to the ruling.
Major said those concerns could be met by making his release subject to a driving prohibition, and by putting up the $5,000 in cash as surety.
His lawyer, Brian Pfefferle, said one of Major’s employees lives with him and would transport him to work.