• James Armstrong and Carmen Marie Fabio

Jordan Taylor pleads guilty forgoing trial by jury


THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JAMES ARMSTRONG

Hudson resident Tina Lyon Adams suffered severe injuries in June, 2015 after being struck while jogging by a car driven by Jordan Taylor who pleaded guilty this week to being under the influence while behind the wheel.

Despite previously pleading not guilty to 10 charges including dangerous driving and criminal negligence and opting for a trial by jury, Jordan Xavier Taylor of Hudson stood before Judge Bertrand St-Arnaud in the Valleyfield courthouse on Tuesday, June 19 pleading guilty to two counts of driving under the influence causing bodily harm. All other charges were stayed.

Case history

Taylor’s defense lawyer, Philip Schneider, made a statement to the court describing the circumstances and events of the accident that occurred in the Hudson’s Valleys area on June 12, 2015 that left Hudson resident Tina Lyon Adams, then 21, in critical condition and her friend Alique Langlois Retolla with minor injuries.

According to the statement, Taylor had participated in an event at a local golf club consuming alcohol during that time. He and a friend left the golf club in Taylor’s vehicle with Taylor driving. Schneider described the weather conditions as rainy and the road surfaces as wet and slippery. On their way to Taylor’s home, the vehicle went out of control as it hydroplaned on the wet road surface. The vehicle struck the two victims and a Hydro Quebec utility pole. Crown Prosecutor Hélène Langis added to the defense lawyer’s statement that individuals at the golf club had attempted to prevent Taylor from leaving telling him he shouldn’t drive his car and he refused. Schneider accepted the additional comment.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/BELINDA PYLE

Shown here at a previous court appearance in December, 2017, Hudson resident Jordan Taylor (right) with defense lawyer Philip Schneider (left) opted to plead guilty to two counts of driving under the influence causing bodily harm in the 2015 accident that seriously injured Tina Lyon Adams.

Sentencing in September

Judge St-Arnaud asked Taylor if he understood the charges and the description of the events. He responded that he did and acknowledged what he had done. The judge read the report that stated Taylor’s blood alcohol exceeded 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood at the time of the accident. A sentencing hearing will be held in September with Taylor released until that time. According to the Criminal Code of Canada, the maximum sentence of impaired driving causing bodily harm is 10 years in prison. Neither Taylor, nor his mother who was in court with him, would comment on the case.

A long journey

Following the accident, Adams spent months in hospital with a broken pelvis and required a hip replacement followed by surgeries to adjust ongoing leg problems. Her academic goal of becoming a police officer has been put on hold.

Adams is currently home recovering from her 19th post-accident operation that took place at the beginning of June and wasn’t present at Taylor’s hearing. Her mother, Debbie Lyon said that they were glad the legal process is coming to an end.

“By pleading guilty, he’s shown some remorse, an acknowledgement of what he has done,” said Lyon noting that, as a family, they hadn’t been focusing on Taylor. “We are all surviving this, Tina and the rest of the family. It has been a long journey for all of us.”

From Tina’s point of view, the journey of reconstructing and healing her injured body – and life – continues.

“This was the eighth operation on my left leg,” she told The Journal of the Friday, June 1 surgery that included a ligament transplant, a bone re-broken and realigned, and existing holes in the bone filled.

“I can’t put any pressure on my left leg,” she said adding that she’s getting around on crutches for short journeys through her home and using a wheelchair for extended mobility.

It has been a long road to recovery since June, 2015 for Adams fraught with setbacks. Post-operative infections in her left leg that was badly burned by the fallen Hydro wires had to be dealt with alongside a right-hip reinstallation. She told The Journal in a March, 2017 interview that she had learned early on in her recovery process to remain focused.

“I discovered that if I set a goal of accomplishing one thing in my day, it made me happy,” she said. “It might be something very simple, like making a phone call but as long as I got it done, I was happy.”

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