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Jail time for Truro man after ‘spree of stupidity’

Court news
Court news

TRURO, N.S. – A Truro man involved in an “incredible spree of stupidity” by stealing a truck and smashing into other vehicles was sentenced to two years federal time on Tuesday.

Jason Tupper, 39, was convicted of two counts of impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm and theft of a pick up truck.

The charges stem from Aug. 12 when Tupper stole a 2011 Dodge Ram from a Truro gas bar while the driver was inside paying for his fuel.

Truro police were in the process of interviewing a motorist on the Esplanade, whose car had been struck by another vehicle, when they received a call about the stolen truck.

Shortly after, Tupper passed by the scene on the Esplanade and witnesses informed police that the truck was the one that had been involved in the accident.

“Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, however, due to the dangerous driving maneuvers of that black Dodge Ram truck, the officers decided to shut down their pursuit out of concerns for the safety of the people in the area as well as the very high speed that the vehicle was travelling,” Crown attorney Alison Brown told the court.

While police were in the process of calling off that pursuit, another officer radioed in to say he had witnessed the truck colliding with a car at the corner of King and Victoria streets.

That accident, caused when Tupper roared through the four-way intersection at a high-rate of speed, was recorded on the officer’s in-car video and Brown said a split-second difference in timing could have resulted in a more tragic outcome.

“It would have essentially t-boned that vehicle and we would be dealing with deaths as opposed to bodily harm,” she said.

The driver of that vehicle subsequently reported suffering from soft-tissue damage in his neck while the other motorist who had been struck at a red light on the Esplanade reported whiplash and a concussion, she said.

Tupper failed to stop after the crash until he lost control of the stolen pickup truck, Brown said.

“It was quite a traumatic event,” she said.

Although he and two other occupants of the truck attempted to flee the scene, a “highly intoxicated” Tupper was taken into custody.

The incident occurred just four days before Tupper was scheduled to be sentenced on drug-related charges, for which he received a two-year prison term.

Given the timing, Judge Al Bégin said it was obvious to him that Tupper had planned “to go out with a bang.”

“There is no doubt in my mind Mr. Tupper that you just decided to go out on an incredible spree of stupidity knowing you were going to be sentenced very shortly after this happened,” Bégin said. “You knew you were going to jail on your drug charges … You’re very, very fortunate you didn’t kill anyone sir. Very fortunate. I don’t think you can appreciate how close it was. I looked at the photos. It was very disturbing.”

Tupper was also sentenced on Tuesday to two previous thefts from the NSLC.

In addition to his jail term, Tupper was ordered to pay restitution totaling $22,215 for damages resulting from his actions plus a further $96.05 to the NSLC.

He also had his driving privileges revoked for two years. That penalty comes into effect after his prison term has been served.

 

hsullivan@trurodaily.com

 

 

 

 

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