Dec 17, 2012 - 'YOU LEFT MY DAUGHTER TO DIE IN THE STREET' (Kassandra Kaulius' case)


Markita Kaulius held up a shredded softball uniform, that trauma doctors had to cut off of her 22-year-old daughter's mangled body, for Natasha Leigh Warren to see.

"That's all I have left to hang onto," the grief-stricken Surrey mother sobbed. "You left my daughter to die in the street."

Warren, 34, from North Delta is being sentenced in Surrey provincial court after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death, failing to remain at the scene of a crash and driving with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit causing death, in connection with the May 3, 2011 collision that killed Kassandra Marie Kaulius, 22, of Surrey.

Crown prosecutor Crichton Pike told Judge Gurmail Gill that Warren drank "at least" a bottle and a half of wine while watching a Canucks versus Predators game earlier that night.

Still wearing her Canucks' jersey, Warren got behind the wheel of her company-issued white econo-line van shortly after 10 p.m. and slammed into Kaulius' BMW sedan at 103 kilometres an hour.

Kaulius was just three blocks from home, returning from a softball game, and had been waiting to make a legal left turn at intersection of 152nd Street and 64th Avenue. Most of her family left the courtroom as Pike described her injuries. The driver's side of the BMW was caved in by two feet, leaving the driver's seat less than a foot wide. Pike said Kaulius died quickly of massive head injuries.

Warren's van stopped 45 metres away. The court heard a motorist asked her how she was, and she said she was fine, but when she saw the BMW she put her hand to her chest, looked like a "caged animal" and ran away. Pike said one witness said she appeared to be "drunk as a skunk."

Warren managed to hop over a chain link fence into some brambles and hid in a woodsy vacant lot. She was arrested and taken to the Surrey RCMP detachment, Pike said, where she was slurring and swaying, and blew twice over the legal limit.

Kaulius' family made sounds of disgust when Pike noted that Warren phoned her boyfriend after the crash to say she thought police were chasing her, and her boyfriend sent her a text message telling her to get out of the van, take the keys and run, and that they could report the van stolen.

Aiming an eight-by-10 framed photo of her daughter at Warren, Markita Kaulius delivered a heart-wrenching victim impact statement.

"Miss Warren, you took away her hopes, her dreams and her future," she sobbed. "Parents are not supposed to see their children lying in a casket.

"The pain is excruciating and I know it will never go away," she cried. "There are days that I feel I'm going out of my mind. Every day is a struggle just to get up and live."

Her husband Victor echoed that.

"This does not get easier over time," he said. "If anything, it gets harder.

"I live with the ultimate horror parents never want to happen," he said. "Kassandra was my baby girl."

Pike refused to say, before the Now's press time, what kind of sentence he'll seek, but Markita and Victor Kaulius said outside court they heard the Crown will argue for a sentence of three and a half years in prison.

Markita pleaded for people not to drink and drive.

"We've got to stop tolerating this," she told reporters. "Families are being destroyed."

Source: Surrey Now Newspaper


Last updated on: 2012-12-20 | Link to this post