Parents Bruce and Julie Cole with son Shane and a photo of Kendra Cole at their home in Water Valley

Relatives of a Water Valley woman killed when the pickup she was in lost control on a curve at high speed and rolled are outraged at the driver’s sentence.

Travis Hettinger, 27, was sentenced to 18 months on Monday on a charge of dangerous driving causing the death of Kendra Cole.

“My Kendra’s life is worth more,” Bruce Cole said, shortly after Hettinger’s sentencing in Didsbury provincial court.

“He’ll be back ... I guarantee you that kid will be doing it again,” the still-grieving dad said of Hettinger, who had 10 prior speeding convictions before the July 28, 2013, deadly crash.

“Very displeased, obviously ... hugely frustrated with the sentence,” he said.

“Eventually people might take things into their own hands if this judicial system doesn’t get its s--- together and do something, ‘cause this isn’t stopping it,” he said.

Cole suggested an 18-month sentence wouldn’t deter others from acting similarly.

“You do that standing on your head.”

He had hoped for a sentence of three years. Crown prosecutor Jim Sawa sought four.

Cole said he’d like to see the Crown appeal the punishment, but isn’t optimistic.

“What are the odds of that? Slim and none and slim has left town.”

Defence counsel Balfour Der said the punishment should act as a deterrent to others.

“It’s severe enough that it sends a message, but it’s not so long that it’s a crushing type sentence for my client,” said Der, who had sought a sentence of 12 months.

Judge Pat McIlhargey said there were several mitigating factors that weighed in Hettinger’s favour, including his age at the time, 25.

He also noted the agreed facts were that while Hettinger had earlier consumed four drinks, alcohol did not play a factor in the crash.

Hettinger was speeding along a rural road near Cremona when he lost control in a bend in the road and rolled his pickup, pinning himself underneath and Kendra Cole, 19, inside.

He had been clocked a short time earlier doing 189 km/h in a 100 km zone.

McIlhargey said a sentence of 12 months would have been too low. “This was a senseless and entirely avoidable tragedy which has had a significant impact on a small community,” he said.

“As a result of the accused’s actions ... a 19-year-old woman with a future full of promise is dead.”

Hettinger will also serve 12 months probation and can’t drive for five years.

Source: Calgary Sun


Last updated on: 2015-08-12 | Link to this post