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Ki Yun Jo, owner of Thorsby Fas Gas station owner, was struck and killed during a gas-and-dash incident.

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas and dash death of Alberta gas station owner

A man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the gas-and-dash death of an Alberta gas station owner has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Mitchell Robert Sydlowski, 29, appeared Friday by video link in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Wetaskiwin, Alta.

Sydlowski, who is from Spruce Grove, Alta., was charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in August to the lesser offence, as well as failing to remain at the scene of a fatal accident.

“It goes without saying that this is a tragic situation,” Justice John William Hopkins said as he delivered Sydlowski’s sentence during an online court hearing.

Ki Yun Jo, owner of Thorsby Fas Gas station owner, was struck and killed during a gas-and-dash incident.

Ki Yun Jo, owner of Thorsby Fas Gas station owner, was struck and killed during a gas-and-dash incident.

An agreed statement of facts submitted in the case said 54-year old Ki Yun Jo was killed after Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel. It happened outside Jo’s Fas Gas station in Thorsby, about 70 kilometres southwest of Edmonton, on Oct. 6, 2017.

A witness saw Jo hanging onto the van’s passenger side mirror and, when the vehicle swerved, he was tossed to the ground and run over by the rear tires of the van.

Court heard Jo died at the scene after suffering multiple blunt force injuries – a skull fracture, a broken neck and internal bleeding, despite the efforts of a retired EMT, a registered nurse and a firefighter who tried to administer first aid.

Jo’s daughter, Ka Yung Jo, said in a victim impact statement to the court last month that her dad’s death was the worst day of her life.

“My dad was senselessly and cruelly taken away from me,” she said. “Since then, my world has changed completely.”

She said she, her mom and her brother had to take over the gas station and had a difficult time running the business. They ended up selling it and moving away from the town.

Jo said her dad’s death left her family financially unstable and heartbroken.

“What I hated most was the man who ended my dad’s life,” she said. “He killed my father and ruined me, my life, my family and everything.”

The judge said it’s clear the death affected the family and the small town of Thorsby.

“The victim impact statement demonstrates the horrible impact this had on the family of Mr. Jo and the ultimate sale of the family business,” Hopkins said.

He said he recognizes no sentence will alleviate the pain and suffering, but he noted that the early guilty pleas came in advance of a trial during a global pandemic.

“It prevented the calling of numerous civilian witnesses and the family having to relive the minute details of the incident,” he said.

The judge also noted Sydlowski’s statement to the court expressing remorse for his actions.

“I am so sorry for the pain I have caused your family,” Sydlowski said during his sentencing hearing on Aug. 14. “I did not intend for any of this to happen.”

His seven-year sentence includes six years for manslaughter and one year for failing to remain at the scene. It will be reduced by about three years for time served prior to the guilty plea.

The judge also imposed a 10-year driving prohibition once Sydlowski gets out of prison.

The Crown had recommended a sentence of six to eight years, while Sydlowski’s lawyer suggested it should be at the lower end of the Crown’s recommendation because of the guilty pleas.

Hopkins said there may be one positive that can be taken from the tragedy.

“There was a change in legislation that took place thereafter requiring payment before pumping gas to prevent this from happening again to other vulnerable gas or convenience store clerks,” he said.

Source: Instragram

The Pumps run dry

Source: Instragram

Source: Instragram

After nearly a decade in business, Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen is reinventing itself and moving from its current location to a nearby storefront on Queen Street East in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood. The catch? No more fuel service.

Brothers Greg and Judson Flom took over the site in October of 2011 and quickly established themselves as a unique voice in the c-gas community, with a strong vision for foodservice.  The Toronto location, modelled after an American site the duo researched online, became a southern barbecue destination, famous for pulled pork sandwiches, poutine and its late-night curry offering targeting local revellers on their way home from the bars.

Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 3.44.59 PMThe announcement of the closure came via social media on August 27, after rumours started swirling when neighbours noticed the building’s iconic signage coming down. Many feared The Pumps, as it’s known locally, was a victim of pandemic-related closures.

During the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown, Leslieville Pumps was an industry leader, quickly announcing enhanced sanitizing measures and even offering to run orders out to people’s cars. It was the early days of curbside delivery.

Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

Instead of an end, however, it’s a new beginning. “After an awesome 10 years of being Toronto’s most unique gas station we are excited to move into a space that will allow us to focus on our love for BBQ and continue to provide all your convenience store goods.”

Fuel will no longer be on the menu, however. The Floms marked the change with a special deal, offering gas at 50 cents/L from 9 a.m. August 28 until the pumps ran dry. By 10 a.m., it was all over and the pumps were being dismantled.

The kitchen closed on August 29 and the general store followed on August 31.

Screen Shot 2019-11-14 at 9.16.50 PMIn a social media post commemorating their last day at the old location, the brothers said: “When we opened almost a decade ago, we were so excited to open the shop and start our culinary adventure. Little did we know that at the end of today would be the first day we’ve had to lock the door. Running a 24/7 business has been thrilling and unforgettable. To be part of the daily rituals of the early risers and night dwellers in Leslieville, we’ve created friendships that will surely follow us a few doors down to our new location.”

The new location, just three doors down at 913 Queen Street East, is slated to open this month. It’s being dubbed a General Store so patrons can expect some of their favourite convenience items and snacks alongside the famous BBQ menu.


Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen has share insights and been feature in Convenience Store News Canada and OCTANE several times over the years. Here’s a look back at the coverage:

Pumps’ co-owners share tips for foodservice success


Leslieville Pumps: 3 ways to get foodservice right

Four ways you can go digital 

Barbecue barons


Parkland expands foodservice offering with Triple O’s restaurant deal

UnknownParkland Fuel Corporation is entering into a multi-year agreement to strengthen its range of freshly prepared and quality meal options by expanding its long-standing relationship with Triple O’s restaurants.

This exclusive agreement builds on the success of Parkland’s existing network of On The Run and Town Pantry convenience stores that already feature Triple O’s in British Columbia – Parkland is an independent supplier and marketer of fuel and petroleum products and a leading convenience store operator. This paves the way for more restaurants in British Columbia, as well as Triple O’s entry into Alberta and Ontario.
Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 10.04.23 AMTriple O’s Restaurants is a division of White Spot Hospitality – a Canadian restaurant chain since 1928 – that operates more than 60 quick service restaurants throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Asia. The quick service burger restaurant currently operates at select Parkland Town Pantrys in British Columbia.
“We look forward to working with Triple O’s to expand their presence in B.C. and launch their high-quality food brand and award-winning menu into Alberta and Ontario,” Ian White, Parkland’s senior vice-president of strategic marketing and innovation, said in a release. “As part of our organic growth strategy, our goal is to include a high-quality food offering in every new and retrofitted On the Run convenience store.”
The combination of Parkland’s network of fuel brands with Triple O’s freshly prepared breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options complement Parkland’s existing food offering and is a natural extension to its On the Run convenience store brand.
“This is an exciting day for the Triple O’s family,” said Warren Erhart, president of White Spot Hospitality. “We have a longstanding and successful partnership with Parkland in British Columbia and look forward to expanding on this success in new markets. With consumers’ evolving needs for convenience and premium quality food, it is with great pride and passion that we are now able to share our delicious and craveable taste of Triple O’s with our signature burgers, fresh-cut Kennebec fries and hand-scooped milkshakes, to so many more Canadians.”