Michele Mandel – Toronto Sun
June 23, 2020
Three strikes and this menace on the roads should never be able to drive again.
Darya Selinevich, on parole for the hit-and-run drunk driving death of a cyclist just five years ago, is back behind bars with her third set of impaired driving charges.
Obviously, this young woman doesn’t get it. How many more chances does she deserve?
Selinevich, 27, was granted full parole in October 2018 with conditions that she not consume, purchase or possess alcohol. She was also under a 10-year driving suspension.
But according to the OPP, she was not only behind the wheel but was allegedly driving with two times the legal alcohol limit when she was stopped on Hwy. 400 on Sunday evening.
Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said numerous witnesses driving southbound from Barrie on Hwy. 400 had called 911 to report a car being driven “erratically.” Police managed to get the vehicle to pull over near King Rd. — “the driver did not initially stop,” he said.
Selinevich is facing a slew of charges including possession of cocaine while driving and operating a vehicle while suspended. None of those allegations have been tested in court.
“Thanks to everyone working together, a fatality may very well have been averted,” Schmidt said.
Tragically, that wasn’t the case on June 11, 2015.
Zhi Yong Kang, known as Peter, was 44, the father of a 14-year-old son, and was “brilliant, eloquent, and had a maverick personality.” It was after midnight and he was cycling along Finch Ave. W. in a residential area near Tobermory Dr.
Selinevich, 22 at the time, was doing approximately 110 km/h in a 60 km/h zone when she struck Kang and left him to die. According to the sentencing judge, her smashed windshield had “biological matter from Mr. Kang’s body embedded in it” as she fled the scene.
In trying to evade police, she was clocked driving about 200 km/h, ran a red light, and eventually abandoned her damaged BMW to try to escape on foot before she was arrested.
She wasn’t supposed to be driving at all that night.
Just a month earlier, the aspiring paralegal had been convicted of a previous DUI on the Don Valley Pkwy., fined $1,200 and suspended from driving for a year. “Thankfully, no one was hurt by your actions,” the judge said at the time.
Selinevich would later admit to parole officials that she was back driving just two weeks after losing her licence because she “needed to get around.” Two weeks later, she was driving drunk and involved in the fatal hit-and-run.
The clues were right there in her previous social media posts that seemed to brag about drinking and driving, including mocking a police R.I.D.E. poster and a close-up of a vodka bottle in her BMW with the tag line: “Best two thing (sic) in the whole world!!!!”
Selinevich pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing Kang’s death, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, failing to stop for police, refusing to provide a breath sample and driving while disqualified.
Sentenced by Justice Leslie Pringle to seven years in prison in January 2017, she was given credit for “harsh” pretrial custody that left Selinevich with 4 1/2 more years to serve. Just a year later, she was released on day parole and was granted full parole in October 2018.
“You are noted to accept full responsibility for your offending and have expressed sincere remorse for the victim and their family,” the panel wrote in its decision obtained by the Toronto Sun.
“You said that you would never drink again. The board believes that you are committed and motivated to remain sober.”
Selinevich’s release would now be reviewed, explained parole board spokesman Holly Knowles. “Any breach of condition or new charge incurred by an offender on conditional release is taken seriously by the board.”
If convicted again, MADD Canada CEO Andrew Murie believes Selinevich must face stricter sanctions, including serious jail time and on release, police warnings to the community to inform them if they see her driving again.
“And for people like this, it should be vehicle forfeiture,” he added. “You were warned, you were a repeat offender, you drive while prohibited, then bang — that vehicle is seized and it’s sold.”
No word on whether Selinevich was driving another BMW this time.