Toronto man sentenced to 5 years in prison for collision that left 1 dead, others injured

A Toronto man who pleaded guilty to impaired operation causing death in a collision that left one woman dead and others injured has been sentenced to five years in prison.

On Jan. 1, 2021, after Isabel Osborne had driven from Peterborough to visit her mother in Toronto, Osborne’s Honda CRV was struck by a Mercedes SUV that ran a red light and entered the intersection of Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue.

The Mercedes then struck a Hyundai Elantra with a family, including two young children, on board. Due to the extreme speed of the Mercedes, it continued to travel northbound, striking the centre median, flipping in the air several times and shearing off an electrical pole on Keele Street before coming to a rest on a grassy area next to the sidewalk and catching fire.

The driver, then-23-year-old Renato Horvath, was ejected as the vehicle flipped.

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Both Osborne and Horvath were taken to hospital with critical injuries. The family of four managed to escape with only minor injuries.

Osborne, who suffered a broken pelvis, broken shoulder, several broken ribs and multiple lacerations, succumbed to her injuries on Jan. 30, 2021. The cause of death: a traumatic brain injury caused by the motor vehicle collision.

Horvath was released from hospital in late February of 2021, at which time he was charged in relation to the fatal crash. According to an agreed statement of facts read out in court, Horvath had a projected blood alcohol level at the time of the crash between 174 and 236 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. He was released on bail with conditions.

On July 20, 2022, Horvath pleaded guilty to impaired operation causing death.

Justice Neil Kozloff handed down Horvath’s sentence on Thursday, calling it “another tragic case in which a decision to drive while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs has produced deadly consequences for an innocent victim.”

In the sentencing document, Kozloff said Horvath’s “significantly elevated BAC,” and the fact that he fled from police in the middle of the day, driving on a major street at “unconscionably high speeds,” while changing lanes to pass other vehicles, and the fact that he ran a red light at a busy intersection are “undeniably egregious aggravating factors.”

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Click to play video: 'North-end Toronto crash leaves at least 6 injured, 1 in critical condition'

North-end Toronto crash leaves at least 6 injured, 1 in critical condition

Kozloff said Horvath “has shown his remorse by pleading guilty,” adding that is a “significant mitigating factor.”

He also said Horvath is “still a young man,” and is a father of three young children and “enjoys strong family support.”

Kozloff said the “serious injuries” Horvath suffered in the collision “continue to have adverse effects which will make the time he serves in custody relatively more difficult.”

Kozloff said after he serves his sentence, Horvath “will still be facing the strong possibility of adverse immigration consequences.”

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“Nothing I now say or do in sentencing Mr. Horvath can repair the damage that he has done,” Kozloff wrote.

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He said Crown and defence counsel agreed on a joint submission, “which is that a fit and proportionate sentence in this case is one of five years’ imprisonment in the penitentiary.”

“A sentence of five years in the penitentiary recognizes the gravity of this offence and the high degree of Mr. Horvath’s responsibility and addresses the sentencing purposes of deterrence and denunciation while also accounting for the mitigating factors set out above,” Kozloff said in the decision.

In addition to the five-year prison sentence, Horvath will also be prohibited from operating any conveyance in Canada for 10 years after his release and must provide a DNA sample.

Horvath will also be under a Section 109 order for a period of 10 years, and must pay a victim surcharge of $200 for each offence punishable by indictment.

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