Sushi Café crash driver pleads guilty to impaired driving

Yellowknife's Sushi Café is pictured in December 2018
Yellowknife's Sushi Café is pictured in December 2018. Plywood construction cladding has only recently been taken down from the front wall and windows. James O'Connor/Cabin Radio

A woman who crashed a pickup truck through the front of Yellowknife’s Sushi Café has pleaded guilty to impaired operation of a vehicle and will be sentenced next spring.

Kimberley Ongahak, 36, sat quietly in territorial court Tuesday morning as lawyer Jay Bran spoke on her behalf.

The café was forced to close after the truck demolished much of its Franklin Avenue wall in the early hours of Sunday, July 15. The business reopened in August with a smaller dining room while repairs were completed.

Ongahak is also charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and taking a vehicle without consent.



Those charges will be “dealt with” at a March 4 sentencing hearing, Crown prosecutor Jane Park told Cabin Radio during a break in proceedings. That means the charges will likely be stayed, but will remain on the docket until the sentencing hearing.

Judge Robert Gorin ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Ongahak, who also pleaded guilty to a simple assault in a case unrelated to the truck crash.

The white Ford F-150 pickup driven by Ongahak remained lodged halfway inside Sushi Café’s dining room for hours after the crash.

The impact obliterated the front wall and windows, while the truck came to rest wedged among chairs and tables.

Ongahak fled the scene. She was arrested just over a month later.

Nobody was inside the café at the time of the crash. Repairs to the front wall of the building have only recently been completed.