The Sea to Sky highway in Vancouver is well known for its treacherous turns and high altitudes. The only way it could be even more dangerous is if someone were driving drunk on it. That’s what happened near Pemberton back in 2015. Now, after several years of waiting for justice, the friends and families of two road cyclists who were struck and killed by a drunk driver while riding the highway have finally heard a plea in the case.
It’s not surprising that road cyclists want to conquer the road to Whistler, and that’s exactly what three cyclists were doing that day. They were struck while speeding down a steep section of the highway, and two died shortly after along with the drunk driver’s passenger.
Samuel Alec, the drunk driver responsible for the crash, recently pleaded guilty to three counts of impaired driving causing death. He was sentenced to ten counts, but made the decision to plead guilty to three counts right before his trial was due to begin. Although he’s been in jail since the crash, he’ll now be sentenced for his crime in March.
It’s crashes like these that are behind British Columbia’s harsh drunk driving laws, but by all accounts the laws seem to be working. The province has been at the centre of controversy for their immediate roadside suspension program, and they also have escalating warn range violations where a driver can be charged even if they don’t blow .08 on a breathalyzer. All offenders in British Columbia are also required to install an ignition interlock if he or she is arrested for impaired driving.
These stiff penalties are a good deterrent to potential drunk drivers in the province, but they don’t stop everyone from making the choice to drink and drive. That’s when fatal crashes like this one occur, and now two more innocent people are dead thanks to someone’s choice to drink and drive.
At the very least, the families of the victims can now feel that justice has been served, and hopefully receive the closure they need after two years of waiting.