Today is the first day of the trial for a man accused of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a 23-year-old Surrey woman. The victim's mother is speaking out about the loss she has to live with every day and about the law, which she wants to see changed.

The crash happened nearly five years ago and is only now making its way through the courts.

Stephen Jenkins is facing six counts, including impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death in connection to the deadly crash.

According to the evidence, Jenkins' minivan crossed the centre line and crashed head-on into this black Honda.

The passenger survived, but the 23-year-old driver Vanessa Usak died instantly.

The first witness - a paramedic - told the court Jenkins told him he'd had a few drinks and some marijuana. But his responses seemed delayed by one to two seconds, and defence argued that he might have been confused due to his injuries when he was giving his answers.

Jenkins is no stranger to the courts, however. He has an impaired driving conviction dating back to 1997.

Outside court, the victim's mother said she's frustrated it's taken more than four years for the case to get to trial.

"It’s very difficult,” said victim’s mother Diana Usak. “It’s been basically a living Hell, and the pain that a parent goes through when they lose a child never ends."

"We need mandatory minimum sentencing for those convicted of killing people while drinking and driving, or under the influence.”

Markita Kaulius with Families for Justice says it’s likely Jenkins may get a few years in jail, if that.

“A family has been sentenced to a lifetime, and Vanessa received a death sentence,” says Kaulius.

A collision analyst and alcohol expert will also take the stand.

The trial is expected to wrap by the end of the week.

Source: Global BC


Last updated on: 2017-02-06 | Link to this post