Faces of victims shared with White Rock drivers, as CounterAttack launches provincewide

Sentences for impaired driving causing death rarely served to term, says Surrey victim’s mother

While standing in front of a banner, which displayed dozens of victims of dangerous driving, Families for Justice founder Markita Kaulius pointed to a smiling face and shared part of their story.

She then pointed to another face. Then another, and another…

“Marilyn Laursen was killed May 15, 2011 in White Rock here, she was crossing the street when she was killed. The accused got a sentence of two years and I believe he was out in seven months,” Kaulius said.

“Bryan McCron was killed five days before his wedding by a… driver here in Surrey. The gentleman had two previous driving-impaired charges. He got a sentence of two years and was released after six months.”

Drivers in both crimes pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, with charges of impaired driving stayed in McCron’s death.

Kaulius was outside the White Rock RCMP detachment Thursday to help officers promote their CounterAttack program, part of a provincial initiative launching tomorrow (Saturday) to focus on impaired driving at roadblocks.

RCMP volunteers held the banner while Const. Chantal Sears stopped and checked motorists for signs of impaired driving.

Sears told Peace Arch News that in the past two weeks, White Rock officers have dealt with two cases of suspected impaired driving. In the first, on Nov. 16, an off-duty officer called 911 after observing a driver in the 1500-block of Kerfoot Road at 10 a.m. The officer intervened when the vehicle came to a stop and prevented the driver from leaving

Charges are expected to be laid against a 63-year-old White Rock man in connection with that incident, Sears said.

Police are also investigating a case from this past Monday, when a motorist drove into an unoccupied parked vehicle in the 15600-block of Pacific Avenue just before 8:30 p.m.

Charges are expected to be laid against a 53-year-old White Rock woman in connection with that incident.

Kaulius– whose daughter Kassandra, 22, was killed in 2011 when a driver of a company van ran a red light at 152 Street and 64 Avenue at 103 km/h – is asking the federal government to impose minimum sentences for impaired driving cases that result in death.

Natasha Leigh Warren pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing Kassandra’s death, failing to remain at the scene of a crash and driving with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit causing death. Warren was sentenced to 37 months but served 18 months behind bars.

“Which is a long time for impaired driving. Most people received two to four years are out in about seven to nine months,” Kaulius told PAN, calling some sentences “ridiculous.”

“Somebody has died because of somebody’s choice to drink and drive,” she said. “We’ve seen sentences of one day in jail; $750 fine; $1,500 fine; 90 days to be served on weekends…”

Kaulius – a Surrey resident and administrative assistant with Langley RCMP’s protective services – said she has concerns that now that cannabis is legalized, it’s only going to increase the number of impaired drivers; “great concern.”

“We haven’t got any stats here in Canada cause it’s only been just about six weeks, but we know there will be future impaired driving deaths and drugs will be involved as well as alcohol,” she said.

Kaulius and Sears agree that deaths or injury from drinking and driving are 100 per cent preventable.

“I just really ask people this holiday season to please don’t drink and drive – have a plan in place before they take their first drink. If anybody sees anybody driving impaired, please call and report them, call 911 and report them, because you might be saving their life or somebody else’s loved one,” Kaulius said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey veteran honoured by South Korea as Ambassador for Peace

Medal presented to Donald McClellan an ‘expression of gratitude’ for service during Korean War

Surrey officer-impersonation scam continues ‘almost daily’

Police reiterate warning that demands for Bitcoin in exchange for waived charges are fraudulent

North Delta yoga studio’s Fridays at the Farm to benefit local animal sanctuary

The outdoor four-class series will benefit Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary in Ladner

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

COVID-19: Update on the pandemic for Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 9: Canada ill-prepared for second wave: report

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Mayors welcome rideshare expansion to eastern Lower Mainland

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read

l -->