A preliminary hearing will begin for a man charged in connection with a collision that killed three Beaumont youths and one family says they are ready.

Johnathan Pratt, 28, is facing several charges including three counts of manslaughter and three counts of impaired driving causing death.

Pratt was charged after Brad Arsenault, Kole Novak and Thaddeus Lake were killed in a collision in November, 2011. 

One of the boys' mothers, Sheri Arsenault, said she is prepared for this next step in the process.

“Now it’s up to the prosecution and our justice system to fight hard for Brad and his two friends,” she told CTV News.

“I put my faith in them that they will fight hard for the three boys because we know they were just trying to get home that night.”

Arsenault says she is not relying on the court proceedings to bring her closure.

“A big part of the healing for us is to continue to advocate for stiffer sentencing.”

She said being a part of the Families for Justice network is important for her.

“Families for justice is what we think is going to help spread this around.”

The group has started a petition to call on politicians to develop tougher legislation around impaired driving.

“We’re trying to save lives because no one is immune to this. It can happen to anyone, anytime.”

“Judges can hand out life in prison for this crime yet for some reason our standards that we see in our courts sits closer to two years,” Janel Boettger said.

Boettger became part of the Families for Justice group after her 17-year-old daughter was killed in a crash near Stettler.

“It’s unexplainable what it’s like to wake up one day and just have a part of your family ripped away,” she said.

“It’s even harder that the system of justice makes us wait these immense lengthy periods to get any answers or to find out what’s happening.”

The group has already collected over 20,000 signatures and are hoping to meet with the federal justice minister to make their case.

“We have to expect that people that travel the roads will be held accountable,” Boettger explained.

“We want the sentencing to be a deterrent against committing this crime.”

In the meantime the parents offer support for each other.

“It’s a relief to be able to lean on each other and support each other,” Boettger smiled.


Sheri Arsenault and Janel Boettger are part of Families for Justice who have started a petition to call for harsher penalties against impaired drivers.


Families for Justice Petition



Last updated on: 2013-01-23 | Link to this post