New Year's Eve incident left Bass River woman paralyzed
Accident victim Holly Grue is seen outside the provincial courtroom in Truro on Tuesday following a sentencing hearing for Ryan McLellan that has been postponed until next week. Seen with Grue is her mother Leora, father Randy and boyfriend Evan Osborne. HARRY SULLIVAN TRURO DAILY NEWS
TRURO - Sometimes, Holly Grue wonders if things would have been better if she had just not survived the hit and run accident that has left her paralyzed.
"I have days where all I think about is the incident and how I think my life and my parent's life would be easier if I died that night," the Bass River woman said, while reading a victim impact statement during a sentencing hearing in provincial court on Tuesday.
"Knowing that I was left to die on the road breaks my heart and thanks to the man that stopped for me and (for) calling 911, for saving my life," she said.
Grue, 22, was struck down while walking along the road in the early hours of Jan. 1 following a New Year's Eve party in Economy.
Ryan Harvey McLellan, 26, has pled guilty to criminal negligence causing bodily harm and fleeing the scene of an accident resulting from the incident.
He was scheduled to be sentenced on those charges and four other counts relating to a subsequent incident that occurred on Aug. 31 while fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle in an intoxicated state.
After hearing the facts of the case, Grue's statement and a letter from McLellan expressing his remorse, which was read out in court by his lawyer Amber Snow, Judge Warren Zimmer postponed the actual sentencing until next Tuesday.
Crown Attorney Alison Brown said by his own admission, McLellan had started drinking at about 1 p.m. on New Year's Eve and had consumed about 15 drinks before the accident occurred.
The court heard that he had left the Economy Recreation Centre around 1 a.m. on Jan. 1 in someone else's Jeep and picked up another man, William Corbett. After completing some "doughnuts" in a field behind McLellan's home in the Jeep, the pair proceeded to travel westbound in a swerving manner along Highway 2 through Economy.
"Mr. Corbett advised that he saw someone in the road and that person was struck by the Jeep," Brown told the court. "Mr. Corbett indicated in a statement that they knew they hit someone. He yelled at Ryan that he hit someone and Mr. Corbett advises that Ryan told him to shut up."
Corbett then yelled at McLellan to stop the Jeep, after which he got out and ran.
A few minutes later, McLellan drove the Jeep into a ditch and he also got out and ran as Grue lay in a crumbled heap not far behind.
On Jan. 2, he turned himself into the RCMP and acknowledged that he was the driver who had struck Grue.
On Aug. 31, while under a court-imposed curfew and an undertaking not to consume alcohol, McLellan was eventually apprehended following a police chase in Truro during which he ran numerous stop signs and red traffic lights in a stolen pickup truck.
He has been under remand ever since.
Following Tuesday's hearing, an emotional Grue expressed "frustration" and "disappointment" at the sentencing delay.
She also said she did not accept the remorse McLellan expressed through a letter read to the court in which he said he thinks of Grue and cries every day over what he has done.
"Words cannot express how sorry I am about all of this and what has happened," his lawyer read as part of his statement.
"It's all my fault, I honestly feel like dying."
Grue, however, was unmoved by McLellan's message.
"It's probably not true and I know he didn't even write it. His lawyer probably wrote it with his signature at the bottom," she said.
"I just hope that on Oct. 30 he is put away for a long time. Because he deserves it."
The Crown has called for a sentence of between four and five years in prison while McLellan's lawyer suggested a term of about two years.