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Apologetic driver who took victim out for dinner receives jail sentence

Apologetic driver who took victim out for dinner receives jail sentence

A judge sentenced a Saskatchewan driver, who took a man out for an apology dinner after injuring him in a hit and run, to jail this week.

Brandon Michael Mushanski, who pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of the accident, was given a four-month jail term on Wednesday, followed by a year of probation.

The Regina Leader-Post reported that the Regina Provincial Court Judge was struck by the case due to the unusual remorse on the part of the offender in addition to the forgiveness displayed by the victim.

He referenced the victim impact statements submitted by Jamie Strongeagle who spoke of the debilitating pain and trauma he suffered from the incident, but also acknowledged improvements he has experienced and noted he was hopeful for a full recovery.

The court heard Strongeagle was walking with friends in the early morning of Aug. 19 when they stopped to take a selfie in the middle of a Regina street.

Mushanski, the driver, had just left McDonald’s and turned the corner when he hit Strongeagle.

Mushanski kept going and was said to have panicked. Alcohol was not a factor. He was estimated to have been driving between 30 and 40 kilometres per hour at the time of the incident.

Following one court appearance, Mushanski offered Strongeagle an apology. The victim also used social media to reach out to Mushanski, who later took Strongeagle out for dinner as an additional apology.

“That honestly really, really helped, just kind of like a weight off (my) shoulders. I just felt a lot better,” Strongeagle told the Leader Post.

While the judge did make note of the unusual level of forgiveness, he said he needed to consider denunciation and deterrence when imposing a sentence for this serious offence.

Mushanski’s sentence will also include a year of driving probation.