A New Year’s drunk driving crash in Saskatoon was so horrible that few people who have heard about it will ever forget it. It’s incomprehensible that a family of four could be driving home from an evening out one minute and in the very next breath crashed into by an impaired driver.
On the night of January 3rd, 2016 Jordan Van de Vorst, his wife Chanda and their children, five-year-old Kamryn and two-year-old Miguire, were driving on the outskirts of Saskatoon. Catherine McKay, after a night out at several bars, was driving home too. She wanted to cross the highway but failed to stop at a stop sign, crashing straight into the Van de Vorst family at 120 km per hour. When police arrived she was so impaired she thought someone had hit her, and her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was three times the legal limit.
Both Jordon and Chanda died at the scene, and Kamryn and Miguire were transported to the hospital where they died shortly after.
McKay pleaded guilty for causing the drunk driving crash, so instead of a trial she went straight to a sentencing hearing. During the hearing police officers talked about the trauma of attending the crash, and family members shared their memories of how they sat with Kamryn and Miguire while they passed away in the hospital.
When the victim impact statements were concluded the judge handed McKay a ten-year jail term. She was also banned from driving for twelve years and she is banned from owning a weapon for ten years. After time served, she’ll spend nine years and two months in prison.
It’s a stiff sentence as far as penalties for an first time impaired driver, but for the family of Jordon, Chanda, Kamryn, and Miguire, ten years in jail must seem like a very small price to pay for ending the lives of a young family.
Impaired driving is a senseless act that’s 100% about choice. The best outcome from a situation like this is that someone else might read about it and instead of doing what McKay did, make the right choice and call a cab instead of putting the keys in the ignition.