The widower of a woman killed by an impaired driver in a hit-and-run crash three years ago told court he considered ending his own life in the months after his wife and high school sweetheart died.

In a victim-impact statement read by his sister, Dan Reaveley said he knew he had to keep living for the sake of their four children, aged 10, 6, 4 and 1, after their mother, Charlene Reaveley, was killed by an impaired driver.

The woman’s mother, Mary Ogilvie, read her statement to a sentencing hearing Monday for Cory Sater in B.C. Supreme Court at New Westminster.

“What is it like for a mother to have her only child killed?” she asked, her voice trembling.

“I’m haunted by the memories of her being buried,” Ogilvie said. “She was my only child and my entire world. She’s on my mind 24/7.

“As a family, we are in pain,” she said, adding her daughter was a mother, wife and best friend.

“On Feb. 19, 2011, I feel like I received a life sentence.”

Sater, 40, was convicted in January of two counts of impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, two counts of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm. He pleaded guilty to leaving an accident scene.

Sater, who arrived in court with a woman and his two children, sat in the prisoner’s dock wearing a suit, his back to a courtroom packed with 70 spectators and members of the media.

Many spectators sniffled and wiped tears during the reading of the victim-impact statements.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m. on the night of the crash, Charlene and Dan Reaveley and close friends Kimberley and Giacomo deBenedictis, on their way home from an evening out, saw a Nissan Pathfinder spin out and crash on Lougheed Highway at Pitt River Road in Coquitlam.

The Reaveleys and Giacomo deBenedictis ran to help while Kimberley deBenedictis called 911. They helped Lorraine Cruz and her boyfriend Paulo Calimbahin out of their damaged vehicle. Neither was hurt.

Moments later, Sater’s Jeep Cherokee side-swiped the Pathfinder and hit Charlene Reaveley, Cruz and Calimbahin at between 44 and 64 km/h before driving away.

Reaveley and Cruz died at the scene. Calimbahin lost a leg in the crash, an injury that has prevented him from working.

He said in his victim-impact statement, which was read by Crown prosecutor Christopher McPherson while Calimbahin was in the public gallery: “Mr. Sater took my leg and my job, but more importantly he took my future.”

Cruz’s mother said in her statement, also read by McPherson, that she felt as if her life ended the day her daughter died.

“It is an unbearable amount of pain,” she wrote.

Crown is asking for eight to nine years in jail for Sater, noting he was driving without a licence that night, had previous impaired-driving suspensions, and left the scene without offering assistance.

His lawyer, Rishi Gill, is seeking a three-year sentence, telling the court Sater has been under house arrest since he was charged.

McPherson later said Sater has a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew as part his bail conditions, and is not under house arrest.

Gill read in a number of letters of support that described Sater as a loving single father to a daughter, 15, and son, 12, a hard worker in his trade as roofer, and a compassionate and caring man.

He told court Sater is remorseful, hasn’t had a drink in three years and has devoted himself more to his Jehovah’s Witness religion.

His landlord and relatives said for Sater to be involved in a hit-and-run was uncharacteristic.

His children could end up in foster care when Sater is in jail, and both of them in their letters said they worried about losing their dad.

“If my dad goes to jail, I will be hurt lots,” wrote the son.

Sater addressed the court, breaking down in sobs. He said he tortures himself every day over the deaths and injury, knowing the children lost their mother.

Ogilvie said outside court that Sater should get 25 years to life in prison.

Judge James Williams will deliver his decision on Thursday.

Source: The Province


Last updated on: 2014-05-04 | Link to this post