Driver pleads guilty to being impaired at time of fatal crash

Matthew Hamon was driving on Sept. 23, 2012 when he crashed in Abbotsford, killing passenger Brian Patchett and injuring two others.

This was the scene of a fatal car crash in September 2012 on Vye Road in Abbotsford.

This was the scene of a fatal car crash in September 2012 on Vye Road in Abbotsford.

The driver of a vehicle that crashed in 2012, killing passenger Brian Patchett of Abbotsford, has pleaded guilty to being impaired at the time.

Matthew Hamon, 24, pleaded guilty yesterday in Abbotsford provincial court to impaired driving causing death and to two charges of impaired driving causing bodily harm for injuring the two other passengers.

Six other charges – dangerous driving causing death, causing an accident resulting in death and two counts each of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and causing an accident resulting in bodily harm – are expected to be stayed.

Hamon’s sentencing hearing will be scheduled for a later date.

Patchett (in photo at left), 22, was in the back seat of  a 1997 Chevy Malibu driven by Hamon on Sept. 23, 2012 on Vye Road near Sumas Way at about 2:30 a.m. when the vehicle struck a concrete barricade, then a hydro pole and flipped on its roof.

Patchett was pronounced dead on the scene, and a 22-year-old woman who was also in the back seat was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

Hamon and the female passenger in the front seat were treated for relatively minor injuries.

Police at the time said alcohol and speed were suspected as factors in the crash.

The group had been on their way home from a friend’s 22nd birthday party.

Patchett left behind a wife and two young children – a boy, who was four at the time, and a girl, who had just turned three – for whom a trust fund was set up.

He had been working at an Abbotsford furniture store, and was the family’s main bread winner.

According to the provincial court database, Hamon was convicted of assault with a weapon in June 2012 and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation.