Noble sentenced to seven-plus years in connection with fatal impaired crash

GUELPH – Ethan Robert Noble has been sentenced to seven years and five months in jail in connection with a two-vehicle crash last summer that claimed the life of Palmerston’s Darren More.

Noble, 22, of Harriston, was sentenced by Justice G.F. Hearn in Guelph court on Jan. 24.

Though he initially faced 15 charges following the July 11 Mapleton crash, Noble pled guilty to five charges:

– driving while impaired by drug causing death;

– driving while impaired by drug causing bodily harm (two counts, involving two passengers in the vehicle he was driving);

– possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 (the truck he was driving was stolen); and

– assault (on a female passenger in the vehicle he was driving).

Noble received a seven-year jail sentence for impaired driving causing death and a concurrent five-year sentence for two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm, plus two months for possession of the stolen truck and three months for assaulting the passenger.

Less time served, his remaining sentence totals six years and eight months. He is also prohibited from driving for five years following his release.

More, 43, was a father of three children with his wife Pam. 

He was well known in the community as a volunteer, particularly with the Isaac Foundation, which supports research into MPS VI, a rare genetic disorder his son Jasper was diagnosed with in 2011.

“Darren was the hero of hope,” said a family member who asked not to be identified, adding reaction to Noble’s sentence varies among More’s relatives.

My hope is however long [Noble] spends in jail … he will come out a better person and contribute something back to society.

“I hope he gets some of the right influences or access to programs that will help him overcome his [issues].”

The crash

According to an agreed statement of facts, on July 11 at about 7:55am Noble was driving a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado stolen the previous day from a farm in Gowanstown.

He was travelling north on Sideroad 15 at a high rate of speed, with a female passenger in the middle of the front seat and a male in the passenger side of the front seat.

All three were high on methamphetamines.

As the truck approached the Sideroad 15/Concession 16 intersection, both passengers noticed More’s truck travelling east on Concession 16 and begged Noble to slow down.

Noble hit the woman in the face with his elbow, likely breaking her  nose, and told her to “shut up.”

He then accelerated the vehicle, which went through the stop sign at about 120km/h, striking More’s vehicle on the passenger side. 

More was trapped in his vehicle, which had flipped onto the passenger side. The female passenger was trapped in the stolen truck, while Noble and his male passenger were able to exit the stolen vehicle.

After the collision Noble got in a passerby’s pick-up truck and started to ram the Silverado, which had caught fire, in an attempt to free the female passenger still trapped inside.

Noble then tried a similar stunt with another passerby’s tractor, before being stopped by police officers who had arrived on the scene.

More was eventually extricated from his vehicle by first responders but was pronounced dead at the Palmerston hospital.

Noble received minor injuries and while at Groves hospital in Fergus, was examined by a drug recognition expert who determined he was impaired by methamphetamine at the time of the crash.

The male passenger in the stolen truck was treated for a broken arm and herniated ribs, while the female passenger suffered serious injuries, including several fractures, internal and external lacerations, and third degree burns over portions of her body.

She was also unknowingly 8 to 10 weeks pregnant; the fetus did not survive.

Previous charge

Noble was charged with impaired driving less than a month prior to the crash that claimed More’s life.

According to an agreed statement of facts, on June 14 at about 12:40am, OPP officers noticed a gold Infiniti travelling at a high rate of speed along Wellington Road 2 in Minto. 

It was swerving from side to side and had no headlights on.

Police followed the vehicle and a short time later observed it in the ditch. Noble, who exited the vehicle, was unsteady on his feet, kept falling down and needed help to walk.

He also had slurred speech, glossy eyes, a pale complexion and a white, pasty film on his bottom lip.

After admitting he consumed whisky, LSD and methamphetamine, Noble was arrested for impaired driving.

Blood tests showed methamphetamine, amphetamine and bupropion in his system.

Noble did not make his first appearance in court for this incident until a week after the crash that killed More. 

He pled guilty in October to driving while impaired by drug and was sentenced to 20 days in jail (for which he was given credit after serving 13 days prior to sentencing).

He was also banned from driving for one year.

– With files from Jaime Myslik