Justin and Tayah Lloyd. Tayah was five months pregnant when she was killed in a head-on collision near Bridal Falls east of Chilllwack on May 26, 2018. (GoFundMe)

Jail time for Chilliwack driver in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman convicted under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Tears flowed in Chilliwack courtroom 203 Friday morning as the husband of a pregnant woman who died in a head-on collision on Highway 1 in 2018 read his victim impact statement.

Kelowna residents Justin and Tahya Lloyd were travelling to Vancouver for a getaway weekend, to visit the aquarium and Science World on May 26, 2018 when their world changed forever.

Tahya was five months pregnant with the couple’s first child, a girl.

As they drove west near Herrling Island on a dry day and on a straight stretch of road, Frank Marx Tessman’s white pickup truck, traveling upwards of 150 km/h, came swerving from the eastbound lanes colliding head on with the Lloyds’ Toyota Tacoma.

“In a few seconds, the woman I love, my unborn child, and my physical health was taken from me and the course of my life was changed forever,” Lloyd said, eliciting tears from Tahya’s mother and her partner who were in attendance.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Even Crown counsel Carolyn Kramer started to get choked up at the end of reading victim impact statements at Tessman’s sentencing, particularly as she read words from the mother of a young person who was a student in the beloved 31-year-old Kelowna teacher’s classroom.

Frank Tessman pleaded guilty to a May 2018 crash on Highway 1 that killed a pregnant woman from Kelowna. (Facebook)

The 48-year-old Tessman pleaded guilty in October 2019 to one count of driving without due care and attention under the Motor Vehicle Act.

While the court heard that he partied all night in Chilliwack drinking eight to 10 beers and smoking crystal meth, he did sleep briefly in between driving and he was not found to be impaired at the time of the crash, which is why no criminal charges were laid.

Instead, his lack of sleep was blamed for his poor driving and falling asleep at the wheel as he was heading to Kelowna, ironically where the Lloyds were coming from.

Both Tessman and Justin Lloyd were airlifted to Royal Columbian Hospital with serious injuries, but Tayah died at the scene. Lloyd’s leg was broken in multiple places and he suffered serious soft tissue injuries, all of which required months of rehabilitation.

Kramer told the court that “black boxes” – event data recorders – from both vehicles were examined after the crash. Tessman’s Chevy pickup was found to have been travelling at between 132 to 143 km/h five seconds prior to impact, and that was after evidence of braking on the median.

The Lloyds’ vehicle was travelling at least 67 to 82 km/h at impact, pointing to a last-second effort to brake.

Kramer asked Judge David Silverman to hand down a sentence of 30 days in custody, a fine of $1,000 and an 18-month driving prohibition.

Tessman’s lawyer Phil Derksen said his client wanted to join in the Crown’s sentencing submissions.

“He is profoundly sorry for what happened,” Derksen said. “If he could turn back time he would…. He knows the collision was his fault. He knows he was in the wrong. He told the police that almost immediately.”

Derksen pointed out that prior to this crash, Tessman spent 20 years as a truck driver with a near perfect driving record.

Tayah Lloyd was a teacher at Anne McClymont Elementary school in Kelowna. After the crash, the children she taught, parents and school staff struggled with the tragic news.

Despite the joint submission, Judge Silverman put over his decision to a later date pointing to the seriousness of the matter.

READ MORE: Pregnant Kelowna teacher named victim of fatal crash

READ MORE: Rallying funds for husband of pregnant teacher killed in crash


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Courtmotor vehicle crash

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Air Ambulance on Highway 1 near Popkum on May 26, 2018 after a Chilliwack man allegedly drove into oncoming traffic killing 31-year-old Tayah Lloyd of Kelowna. (Jan Bosman Tweet)

Just Posted

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

COVID-19: Coast Mountain College cancels, postpones programs on Haida Gwaii

General interest and workforce training courses cancelled, field school postponed

UPDATE: Mother of missing Indigenous woman pleads for her safe return

23-year-old Shaylanna Lewis, who also uses the surname Brown, was last seen on March 21

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read