A driver who a judge said “callously abandoned” his best friend after he was gravely injured in a drunken car crash in Surrey has been sentenced to six years prison.
Andrew Henry Ostrowski was driving intoxicated with his friend Sergio Martinez in a Honda CRX on Sept. 6, 2011 when he ran a red light at 132 Street and 88 Avenue. A Nissan Armada SUV struck the Honda on the passenger side where Martinez was sitting. He died in hospital.
Not only was Ostrowski prohibited from driving at the time, but the Honda was unlicensed and uninsured. Ostrowski fled the scene and was arrested about 20 minutes later on a side street.
Last May, Surrey Provincial Court Judge Peder Gulbransen found him guilty of impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and failure to stop at an accident causing death.
At Ostrowski’s sentencing Tuesday, Gulbransen said the 29-year-old had a “high level of culpability” in the case.
While the judge acknowledged Ostrowski initially showed little remorse (at trial he argued there was a third man in the car who was driving), he said it appears he now understands the gravity of his crimes.
“That is,” said Gulbransen, “I believe that he is now genuinely remorseful.”
Ostrowski, who has has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction since his teens, delivered a tearful apology in court last week. He said Martinez, a father of two, was more than just a friend, but “part of my family.”
Gulbransen noted Ostrowski has taken steps to deal with his addiction issues and has recently worked to become more involved in the lives of his two children and re-connect with his aboriginal roots.
“There is still some hope that he can change,” said Gulbransen, adding a “significant deterrent sentence” was still necessary.
With credit for time he has already spent in custody, Ostrowski has five years remaining of his jail sentence. He’s also banned from driving for eight years after his sentence expires.