A driver who 3½ years ago struck and killed a White Rock father delivering newspapers with his teenaged son has been granted day parole.
Following a hearing Jan. 16, Allan Simpson Wood – who has served 7½ months of a two-year jail sentence for causing the death of Bryan McCron and attacking Connor McCron – was given permission to live at a halfway house for the next six months.
In granting the pre-release step, officials considered factors including that Wood, 40, has been assessed as a low risk to reoffend, has the support of his girlfriend and family members, has accepted responsibility for the crime and demonstrated “what appeared to be genuine remorse.”
At the same time, “you killed a man due to your reckless and dangerous driving,” the decision states. “You also assaulted the victim’s son at a time when his father was dying of the injuries sustained in the collision.”
News of the decision to allow day parole shocked the victims’ family.
“He basically has served six months in a minimum-security prison for killing someone,” Vicki Macri, one of Bryan McCron’s two younger sisters, told Peace Arch News Wednesday. “It’s a slap in the face of the victims, again. The value of our loved one is six months in prison.”
Wood pleaded guilty last summer to assault and dangerous driving causing death in connection with the July 19, 2010 incident that killed McCron.
(Charges of impaired driving causing death and failure to provide a breath sample were stayed.)
The court heard that Wood’s Chevy Silverado struck McCron’s Toyota Tercel as the McCrons were delivering newspapers in the 15300-block of Colebrook Road. The Silverado was not insured; Wood did not have a valid driver’s license; and, at the time of impact, Wood’s vehicle was travelling at 101 km/h – more than double the speed limit.
McCron, 49 years old and one week away from getting married, suffered a severed aorta in the crash and died later in hospital.
The court also heard that Wood pushed Connor McCron and punched him in the stomach as the then-17-year-old called 911.
At the parole hearing, Wood said he assaulted the teen because he had blamed the victims for the crash. It occurred after he had been drinking with a friend at the beach, and he took a wrong turn while driving to get something to eat, the report states.
Since the crash, the board found, Wood “demonstrated a reasonable level of insight” into his alcohol use. Wood told the board he would not drink again, and will not likely drive again.
In granting day parole, the board imposed special conditions prohibiting Wood from: entering any establishment where the primary source of income is derived from the sale or consumption of alcohol; consuming, purchasing or possessing alcohol; consuming, purchasing or possessing illicit drugs; and associating with any person he knows, or has reason to believe, is involved in criminal activity and/or substance abuse.
Wood must also follow any treatment plan arranged by his parole supervisor.
Wood will be eligible for statutory release this fall, when he’ll have served two-thirds of his sentence.
Macri said she would have liked to have been at the hearing to face Wood and hear his words for herself. The Parole Board of Canada, however, does not automatically provide information on such proceedings to family members who have lost a loved one to crime; they must register to receive it.
And while Macri isn’t convinced being at the hearing would have changed its outcome, “I certainly would have felt better knowing there was a chance that he was going to get out and that we were at least made aware of it.
“Finding out through the newspaper isn’t right.”
She remains committed – through the non-profit group Families for Justice – to efforts aimed at ensuring anyone convicted of such an offence receives a mandatory minimum sentence.