A 36-year-old Abbotsford man who sped through a red light, smashing head-on into a van full of young children in May 2014, has pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving.
Last year, Jakub Ignacy Moryson was charged with dangerous driving and hit-and-run for the serious Aldergrove crash, after which several witnesses reported seeing him crawl out of his mangled car with a 12-pack of beer under his arm, and walk to a nearby fast food restaurant where he ordered a burger and called a taxi.
On March 27, the day his trial was to begin, Moryson pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving. He is next scheduled to appear in court on June 2 for a pre-sentencing report.
At the time of the crash, the white Nissan sports car Moryson was driving hit the van at a high rate of speed at the intersection of 264 Street and 56 Avenue, north of Highway 1, around 5:30 p.m. The van was being driven by a daycare provider who was transporting five kids, including two of her own.
A former Black Press photojournalist happened to be at the McDonald’s when he heard the loud bang of the crash, and saw smoke coming from the intersection.
“You could hear the kids screaming and crying. There were already people there helping. The woman driving was on the ground seizuring,” said Evan Seal, who worked with the Surrey Leader newspaper.
While witnesses were helping the youngsters and the woman in the van, Seal watched the driver of the sports car crawl out his vehicle through the T-bar roof, and start collecting his belongings in a plastic bag.
Carrying a 12-pack of beer, the driver walked over to the fast food restaurant. The man was limping from what appeared to be a visible fracture to his leg. He was later taken to hospital with broken bones, said police.
Other witnesses said the driver seemed oblivious to the fact that a bone was sticking out of his leg.
Police later confirmed that the accused was driving without a valid driver’s licence.
The children in the van were checked by paramedics. They were traumatized but physically OK.
The driver of the van was taken to hospital. She was treated for minor injuries and later released.
Another witness to the crash said he was making the exit to 264 Street just prior to the crash when the white Nissan passed him on the shoulder.
Just making the curve, the vehicle then ran the light and hit the van.
Witnesses to the crash sent the taxi away. By then, Township firefighters had arrived on scene and stayed with the bleeding man until police arrived.
The crash sparked strong reaction in the community, particularly from those who witnessed the crash and comforted the terrified children or helped the injured mom.
According to court records, Moryson spent five months in jail for trafficking a controlled substance and breaching his probation for an April 2013 arrest.
Five months after the Aldergrove crash, he was sentenced to two months in jail for theft over $5,000 from an incident that same year.