Dec 27, 2012 - SPECIAL SERIES PART THREE: Impaired Lives - Sentence Outrage (Tyson & Colton's case)

The Keelers look at photos of their son, Colton, who was killed by a drunk driver.

Their son was killed by a drunk driver, in a horrific highway crash that also killed his friend. Now, a central Alberta couple is speaking out about the light sentences handed down to impaired drivers here in Canada.

On March 31, 19-year-old Colton Keeler and his friend, 18-year-old Tyson Vanderzwaag were driving with a group of friends west of Red Deer when the car broke down. Colton got out to help push it, when a Ford Focus hit him from behind.

Both Colton and Tyson were killed, and the woman behind the wheel was arrested near the scene.

“RCMP spotted her in the ditch, she was running away from the accident scene,” says Colton's father, Darren Keeler. “She was in her pajamas when she was arrested.”

That woman was 29-year-old April Beauclair, who had been at a bar in Sylvan Lake before going back to a friend’s house where they took her keys away, and made her a bed on the couch.

“When they went to bed, she rooted around, found her keys and jumped in her vehicle, and 14 kilometres later my son was dead.”

Beauclair pleaded guilty to two counts of impaired driving causing death and was sentenced to three years and six months behind bars.

By June, she will be eligible for day parole, and full parole by the end of 2013.

“The day Colton was killed I thought she would be looking at 10 years, that was my thought,” Keeler says. “When I found out how the legal system in Canada really works, that’s when it really sunk in how big of a problem we have in Canada.”

The Keelers want Colton’s death to bring about change, and for impaired driving to be treated the same as murder.

“They they made a decision to get behind that wheel drunk knowing it’s against the law and they killed someone. At the very minimum it's manslaughter.”

For video, click here

Source: Global News Calgary

Last updated on: 2012-12-30 | Link to this post