Every time there is an impaired driving charge that is made public or a fatal collision involving alcohol – it shakes them to their core. Saskatchewan families who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers are now, in a sense, living out a life sentence of their own.

For one family, former deputy premier Don McMorris’ impaired driving charge is much bigger than the man at the centre of it all.

READ MORE: Don McMorris becomes 4th Sask. MLA with impaired driving record

Allan Kerpan, a former member of Parliament (MP) and a father who lost his daughter to a drunk driver said it underscores the magnitude of this problem in Saskatchewan.


Since Oct. 14, 2014, Kerpan has lived out a parent’s worst nightmare and at times he says just barely.

“There’s days that I cry. I don’t cry every day any more like I did at the start,” Kerpan said.

“When I cry it’s just as bad, it’s just not as often as it used to be.”

In January, his daughter’s killer, John Koch, was sentenced to four years in prison and is prohibited from driving for 11 years.

Court heard the day Danille Kerpan died, a dozen calls were placed to 911 within a matter of 20 minutes to report Koch, who was travelling in the wrong direction at times at around 140 kilometres per hour.

He would narrowly miss others before fatally striking Danille’s vehicle as she attempted to pull onto the shoulder just outside of Bladworth, Sask.

Since her death, the Kerpans have advocated for change – the right balance to be struck between punishment and prevention – and said they had even shared their personal tragedy with McMorris prior to him being charged with driving under the influence on the morning of Aug. 5.

“He did make a mistake, the problem is with that kind of mistake it impacts people’s lives,” Kerpan said.

“That’s why we need to take that issue so very, very seriously because it ruins lives. There’s just no question about it.”

What’s even more concerning, said Kerpan, is McMorris is only one of many who are charged with impaired driving in this province, every day.

“No one ever personally sets out drinking and driving thinking they’re going to hit, injure or kill somebody and most people don’t think they’re ever going to get caught. That’s why they do it.”

McMorris has since resigned as deputy premier and minister responsible for four portfolios including SGI and Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA). He does, however, continue to serve as the MLA for Indian Head-Milestone.

But some question if he should resign from this position as well.

“I didn’t vote for Don, I would have if I had been in his constituency,” Kerpan said.

“I would say to the people there, it’s really up to them.”

Plus, Kerpan said McMorris’ only saving grace during his fall from grace is he didn’t hurt anyone in the process and is now asking him to consider this offer.

“It’s a devastating story for him personally and politically – might be a way he could turn that around and turn that into a positive by working with us and trying to make changes so I’m going to hand that out to him – through you today.”

Source: Global News


Last updated on: 2016-09-05 | Link to this post