Nanaimo Courthouse. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo Courthouse. (News Bulletin file photo)

Motorist who struck and killed jogger on Gabriola Island gets two-year sentence

William Goosman pleaded guilty last fall in connection with incident that killed Jay Dearman

A motorist who struck and killed a jogger on Gabriola Island in 2018 will spend two years in prison.

William Sydney Goosman, 49, was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo on Tuesday, Feb. 23, for dangerous driving causing death in a January 2018 incident in which Jay Dearman was killed.

Goosman entered a guilty plea on Nov. 30 and was sentenced by Judge Robin Baird. He will serve his time in a provincial correctional facility.

According to a statement of facts, numerous witnesses stated they saw Goosman driving his minivan dangerously and erratically prior to the incident. A parent dropping her child off at school estimated Goosman was driving 80-100 kilometres per hour.

Dearman had been jogging with a group, including wife Suzanne, along the shoulder of Berry Point Road when he was struck by Goosman. The coroner ruled his death was by blunt force trauma.

Gabriola Island RCMP members attending the scene said they detected a faint smell of alcohol on Goosman’s breath, but testing revealed he had 0.028 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millitres of blood – below the legal limit. Goosman said he had two glasses of wine two hours before the accident.

Goosman is a long-term heroin addict, said Michael Ritzker, defence counsel, during his submissions. He was on Suboxone in 2018 to help wean him from his dependency and said it affected his ability to drive.

Addressing Suzanne Dearman, Baird said the maximum sentence is 14 years’ imprisonment, but that is rare. Eight months to six years in prison is typical depending on the circumstances, he said. Brett Webber, Crown counsel, and Ritzker submitted a joint submission and Baird said he was bound by instructions from the Supreme Court of Canada in relation to the submission unless there were compelling reasons.

In a victim impact statement, Suzanne Dearman said she was traumatized by the sight of her husband’s body on the road. He was a huge part of the community, loved being a volunteer firefighters, and had died before the birth of a grandchild. She admonished Goosman and asked him what he was doing while she informing her husband’s parents about his death and choosing a coffin.

Goosman apologized for what happened and said he felt horrible about it. He said he wanted to do whatever he could to make up for it.

Following release from jail, Goosman will be on 18 months’ probation and is prohibited from consuming alcohol or drugs, except for prescriptions, during that time. He will be forbidden from having any contact with Suzanne Dearman and is prohibited from driving for five years.

The lead investigator was involved in an accident which made him unavailable for the trial that had been scheduled to begin last November.

Neither Webber nor Ritzker wished to comment following sentencing.

RELATED: Man charged in death of Gabriola firefighter seeks trial



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

BC Supreme CourtCourt

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

Just Posted

The construction zone remains for now at Clover Point, but plans for a new pedestrian zone and partially closed traffic loop were approved by Victoria councillors on Thursday. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria council compromises with partial closure of Clover Point

Option preserves parking 14 spots facing ocean, creates more pedestrian space

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Don Devenney is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Community Builder of the year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore volunteer’s efforts an exercise in adventurous pursuits

Don Devenney is the 2021 recipient of the Community Builder Award

Sergeant Francis Dion with the box containing HMCS Calgary’s new secret mascot costume. (HMCSNCSMCalgary/Facebook)
(Black Press Media file photo)
Trees Cannabis to reignite downtown Victoria location as licensed store

The dispensary will reopen its 230 Cook St. location on Saturday

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Migrant farm workers transplant jalapeno sprouts from trucks into the tilted soil at a farm. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
‘They’re afraid’: Coalition sounds alarm over COVID vaccines for B.C.’s migrant workers

Though health ministry says anyone can get vaccinated, critics say barriers are keeping migrants from their dose

Most Read