West Vancouver’s Yihao Wang will be sentenced May 10 in North Vancouver Provincial Court after pleading guilty April 24 to driving a supercar 150 kilometres-an-hour above the speed limit last summer.
Wang’s lawyer, David Baker, asked the court for a Mandarin interpreter to be present for the sentencing. Wang had no problem understanding when Baker asked where his vehicle was outside the courthouse.
Wang had just emerged from the lobby wearing a black baseball cap, sunglasses and surgical mask. He strode briskly, in a pair of $1,000 Salvatore Ferragamo velvet gold-monogrammed loafers, to a parked white Porsche SUV after ignoring questions from reporters. Wang occupied the passenger seat, while another man, wearing a similar surgical mask, got behind the steering wheel.
West Vancouver Police impounded Wang’s $300,000, 2015 Ferrari 458 on July 4, 2017, after he flew across the Lions Gate Bridge at 210 km-h. The posted speed limit is 60 km-h. He was banned from driving for 16 months.
Outside the courthouse, Baker called that “the sentence prior to the verdict.” He said the guilty plea to avoid the trial “is favourable to my client and meets the Crown’s needs.”
“He’s very sorry for what occurred, he regrets it, he’s been taken off the road for 16 months which is a significant penalty already and he’s taken responsibility by entering a plea today,” Baker told reporters. “Many other young people get tickets for speeding and they continue to speed. I expect now that he’s been sanctioned in this way, he’ll slow down significantly.”
Court files show that Wang, born in 1994, was found guilty of failing to produce a driver’s licence or insurance in 2013 and 2015. He did not dispute speeding tickets in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and was ticketed for using an electronic device while driving in 2017. In April 2017, Wang was caught driving 126 km-h over the same bridge behind the wheel of a Mercedes Benz CLS66.
Fuerdai is the Mandarin term for “rich second generation” and Wang has all the trappings of being the scion of wealth. The Ferrari driver lives in a British Properties mansion that was assessed at $6.29 million and registered to Xinghui Wang. Yet, Baker refused to say whether Wang is a student or has a job. He would not comment on the source of Wang’s funds or whether he was returning from a casino when cops nabbed him. He said that Wang’s family is involved in a legitimate business, but declined to provide details.
“I have no idea where he was coming back from [on July 4], this case has absolutely nothing to do with casinos and money laundering,” he said. “This case is about a young person who drove too fast.”
Const. Jeff Palmer said that West Vancouver Police have impounded 96 vehicles for excessive speed in 2018 so far, compared to 46 for the same period in 2017. Palmer said the increase is partly due to staffing, because traffic officers who were recovering from on-duty injuries in 2017 are back on the job with a similar shift rotation to patrol members.
Only 11 of the drivers whose cars have been impounded in 2018 are West Vancouver residents, Palmer said. Approximately 60% of impounds were for excessive speed on the Upper Levels Highway, 30% on Cypress Bowl Road and only two so far on the Lions Gate Bridge. Of the 96 drivers, 77 were male, ranging from 19 to 55.
The highest alleged speed this year is 187 km-h in a 90 km-h zone.
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