Crown seeking prison term, 15-year driving ban for Brent Parent

Langley Man who ran down and killed Silas O'Brien has 64 driving convictions

Two years to the day after 21-year-old Silas O’Brien was killed in a road-rage incident in South Langley, the man convicted of causing his death was caught driving 45 km/h over the posted speed limit on the same road.

The shocking accusation came in New Westminster’s B.C. Supreme Court Friday, as Brent Parent, 43, sat in the prisoner’s box with his head down, while prosecutors argued for a driving ban, citing Parent’s 64 driving convictions.

Crown is seeking an eight-year jail sentence and wants Parent to be prohibited from driving for 15 years.

O’Brien died in the early hours of March 13, 2008. Earlier this year, a judge ruled that Parent, who was driving a diesel Ford F350, became enraged when he thought that the Chevy Silverado O’Brien was riding in had deliberately flashed its high beams at him. Parent forced the pickup carrying O’Brien and his friends — who were on their way to the airport to start a Hawaiian vacation — off the road in South Langley and into a ditch. He then returned to the scene, where he ran down and killed O’Brien.

On the second anniversary of O’Brien’s death, the Langley man was  pulled over by police on 16 Avenue after driving 105 km/h. The speed limit was 60 km/h.

Parent, who was convicted on Jan. 19 of three road-rage related charges, has racked up 27 speeding tickets and has had his licence suspended several times. He was also convicted of careless driving in 1993.

On Friday, emotional victim-impact statements from O’Brien’s parents, the two friends he lived with and who were with him when he died, as well as from his girlfriend, were read aloud in court.

O’Brien’s girlfriend wrote that she can now never marry Silas, and she had planned to have children with him one day.

O’Brien’s father, Roger, sobbed as he read his own statement aloud, saying “I do not seek revenge, but I do ask for justice.”

Parent’s lawyer said that his client is remorseful and ashamed of what happened.

Defense is asking for a three to four year jail term and a 36 to 48 month driving ban. His lawyer pleaded with the judge to consider allowing Parent to drive only for his work when he gets out of jail

“He will be returning to live in society and he will need to be a contributing member and as a mechanic he is required to test drive the vehicles he works on,” said defense.

The judge asked if Parent wanted to say anything. Crying, Parent stood up and apologized “for ruining a lot of people’s lives.”

He asked the judge to not put him away for “a long time” because it wouldn’t be fair to his step children. “I realize the O’Briens have lost their son and I’m sure they’d like to see me go away for a long time,” said Parent. “I am very sorry for what happened. I wish it were me instead of him.”

The defence also detailed Parent’s difficult childhood which included having an alcoholic and absent father and a mother who gave birth to him at 16 years of age. She was diagnosed with mental illness by the time he was 12 and she became a chronic alcoholic. Parent left home at 16, at times living on the street. But, he managed to stay away from addiction himself and at the age of 25 began a relationship with a woman who had three very young girls. Despite not being with that woman anymore he maintains a close relationship with her and his three step daughters.The court learened he took those kids in as his own, raising them and being a father figure while starting a successful business.

He also partially raised his sister’s son, trying in vain to adopt him to provide him a safe home away from his sibling’s mental illness and addictions.

He is married and is raising his wife’s two young daughters. Numerous letters of support for Parent were submitted to the courts including from his step children, his ex-wife, his current wife and her mother. Many said he was loyal, caring and generous.

Parent’s lawyer agreed that his driving record “is clearly problematic and troubling.” But to put it in perspective, his lawyer said, Parent only had nine convictions in his 30s. He said when Parent was caught speeding along the same road on the second anniversary of O’Brien’s death, it was because he was trying to get home fast and find out if one of his friends was one of those killed in an avalanche that day.

An avid snowmobiler, Parent feared his good friend was one of the men caught in the avalanche. He said he sped to get home to find out.

Parent will be sentenced May 10.



Just Posted

An apartment building and townhouse project has been proposed at 2236 McCallum Rd. in Abbotsford. The development was given third reading by city council on June 14. (City of Abbotsford)
Apartment-and-townhouse project planned on McCallum Road in Abbotsford

Development across from old hospital site consists of 174 suites and 10 townhouses

Adam Hobbs went missing from a Langley work site on Monday, June 14 and may have gone to Vancouver. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Family, RCMP seek Abbotsford man missing from Langley job site

Adam Hobbs lives in Abbotsford and is a minor hockey referee

Police were on scene Monday afternoon (June 14) in the area of George Ferguson Way and Ware Street. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Police called out after reports of possible home invasion in Abbotsford

Incident on Monday afternoon at George Ferugson Way and Ware Street

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

The Vancouver Canucks have polled season ticket holders on team name options for the new Abbotsford AHL team.
Vancouver Canucks poll season tickets holders on Abbotsford AHL team name

List asks fans to rank three out of 10 options, also if Abbotsford or Fraser Valley should be used

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read