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

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

Residents of 15156 Victoria Ave. say they’re at risk of losing their affordable housing, from left, Elizabeth Soper, Jack, Jane, Dan, Anthony. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock tenants, landlord to go to RTB hearing over ‘renoviction’

Low-income tenants dispute claim they must relocate for work to be completed

A woman crosses 176th Street in Cloverdale April 12, 2021. 176th will not host Cloverdale Market Days this year as the popular street fest is just the latest casualty in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale Market Days cancelled again

Organizer says popular street fest will return in 2022

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

Marchers supporting Indian farmers rallied in Surrey last month, from Bear Creek Park to Holland Park along King George Boulevard. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey MP says mayor’s motion to support Indian farmers is his to make

“He has his own sovereignty, right,” Sukh Dhaliwal says

Crescent Beach Yacht Club was ordered closed on April 13 due to COVID-19, according to a post on the club’s Facebook page. (Contributed photo)
Two South Surrey businesses among several shuttered for at least 10 days due to COVID-19

Fraser Health posting list of workplaces closed under new public health order

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Most Read