Dec 28, 2012 - SPECIAL SERIES PART FOUR: Impaired lives - A drunk driver speaks out (Krista & Brad Howe's case)

Despite ongoing pleas and public education, drunk driving continues to be a problem around North America, costing countless lives.

A Red Deer man knows first-hand the damage that can be done by getting behind the wheel after drinking, because his actions killed the parents of five children.

In February 2010, Chad Olsen was out drinking before taking a cab back to a friend’s house. No one was there, so he decided to drive home—but didn’t make it.

“At the last minute I caught their vehicle out of the corner of my eye,” he remembers. “At that point in time I didn’t have time to react. I went to hit the brakes but it was too late.”

That vehicle belonged to Brad and Krista Howe, the proud parents of five children. Both were killed.

Olsen was rushed to the hospital and tests revealed he was nearly three times the legal limit. He was put in jail, where a police officer told him something that would change his life forever.

“He’s like, ‘do you know what I had to do tonight?’” Olsen recalls. “He said, ‘I had to go tell five kids that their parents aren’t coming home tonight,’ and I just broke down.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done to the Howe family and for all the pain and suffering I’ve put them through,” he continues. “It’s hard at times to live with what I’ve done. I made this selfish decision and I need to live with it for the rest of my life, and I will.”

He says he hopes to apologize to the Howe family, but doesn’t expect forgiveness.

“I have to forgive myself before I can allow anyone else to forgive me, and that will take some time.”

Olsen is already out on parole after serving just over eight months in prison. He’s engaged and working, but says his life focus is now to stop people from making the same mistake he did.

“My outlook on drinking has completely changed,” he says. “I believe our laws need to change and there needs to be zero tolerance. It's too much of a grey area for sure. [People] start out with one…then it just builds from there.

“I wish I could take it all back in a heartbeat.”

Source:  Global News Calgary


Last updated on: 2013-01-02 | Link to this post