It’s been over six months since the Van De Vorst family from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was killed by a drunk driver. Jordan and Chandra, along with their children Kamryn and Miguire, were crashed into while trying to cross the highway just outside of the city. Jordan and Chandra died at the scene, while Kamryn and Miguire died shortly after they arrived at the hospital.
There are no words to describe the pain and sorrow the family must feel after such a tragedy, so it must only be a small consolation that the person responsible has decided to plead guilty. Because of that plea, she will head straight to sentencing and the family will not have to endure a trial.
Catherine McKay received four impaired driving causing death charges for causing the crash. If recent impaired driving sentences in Saskatchewan and Ontario are any example, McKay could be looking at a long stint in prison.
Marco Muzzo, the man who drove drunk and killed three children and their grandfather in a crash, also made the decision to plead guilty and move straight to sentencing. He received nine years in prison for his impaired driving causing death charges, a sentence that some critics feel was far too light.
A Saskatchewan man, Brian Okemahwasin, also faces nine years in prison for crashing into a conservation officer directing traffic in Saskatoon. His recent appeal to decrease his sentence was denied by the court.
McKay could face similar charges for her crash, and because Saskatchewan has one of the worst drunk driving records in Canada, the judge could use this crash to set a new tone in a province that doesn’t seem to take drunk driving seriously.
A stiff jail sentence won’t bring back the Van De Vorst family, but it could stop someone else who’s a drunk driver or might have a casual attitude toward drunk driving, and that could save a life.