A 35-year-old Delta woman has been sentenced to 37 months in prison for drinking and driving and causing the crash that killed Kassandra Kaulius last year.

Sentencing for Natasha Leigh Warren took place Friday in B.C. Provincial Court in Surrey.

In July, Warren admitted to dangerous driving causing death, operation of a vehicle while over 0.08 causing death, and failing to remain at the scene of an accident causing bodily harm.

On May 3, 2011, Warren drank a bottle and a half of wine while watching a Vancouver Canucks game with her boyfriend. Around 9:30 p.m., Warren got into her white Ford work van and left home.

About 45 minutes later Warren slammed her car into the driver’s side of Kaulius’s red BMW as the 22-year-old waited in the intersection of 64th Avenue and 152nd Street to turn left on a green light.

Warren’s vehicle was going more than 100 km/h when it struck Kaulius.

After the crash Warren ran into a nearby wooded area. A bystander found her a short time later and she was arrested. Warren gave two breath samples, blowing almost twice the legal limit.

Kaulius died from catastrophic injuries.

In his decision, Judge Gurmail Gill recognized the devastation caused by Kaulius’s death.

“The Kaulius’s world was irrevocably altered with the taking of their daughter,” Gill said.

Gill said that based on the evidence presented, this crime was not in keeping with Warren’s character. He said that Warren seems to be committed to helping the disadvantaged — she aspires to be a youth probation officer and has an extensive background of volunteering — and her repeated expressions of remorse appear to be genuine.

However, Gill said Warren’s conduct the night of the crash was “grave and morally blameworthy.”

Her decision to drink and drive deviated from normal societal behaviour, he said, and Warren’s driving constituted intentional risk-taking and a danger to the public.

“Too many lives have been taken needlessly at the hands of drinking drivers,” Gill said.

Warren’s sentence includes an eight-year driving ban.

Kaulius’s parents say although it’s more than they expected, it’s not enough.

“We had hoped, because of the severity of circumstances of this crime, that there would be a stronger, more appropriate sentence handed down,” Markita Kaulius said outside court. “We hoped that our daughter Kassandra’s loss of life would be represented, and that justice would be served.”

Markita, with Families for Justice, is campaigning for there to be a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for people convicted of impaired driving causing death.

“We know that even with five years they won’t that amount of time [because of parole],” Markita said. “At least hopefully that will be some kind of deterrent for someone thinking of getting behind the wheel of a car.”

No matter what, their lives will never be the same, Markita said.

“Every day is painful for us because we’re without Kassandra.”

Source: The Province


Last updated on: 2012-12-28 | Link to this post