Costly Mistake: Former collision repair owner pleads guilty

Halifax, Nova Scotia — September 9, 2019 — The use of an uncertified car lift with disabled safety mechanisms and a lack of an emergency response plan in place for working with hazardous materials are likely to cost one former auto repair business owner to pay dearly.

Six years after a fatal accident at Your Auto Mechanic Corner in Westphal, N.S., the business’s former owner, Elie Hoyeck, has plead guilty to three safety-related charges, which could cost him as much as half-a-million dollars in fines.

The Crown’s attention turned towards Hoyeck and his business in 2013. It was then that Peter Kempton, a mechanic for the shop, was attempting to remove the gas tank from a minivan using an acetylene torch when the vehicle caught fire and exploded. Kempton was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening burns but ultimately succumbed to his wounds.

Originally, Hoyeck was charged with criminal negligence for the death, but was acquitted back in January, making him the first Nova Scotian charged under Westray Law to be found not guilty.

It was only last week that he admitted to the three non-criminal charges.

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