Calgary dad found guilty of dangerous driving, drunk driving in crash that killed teenage daughter
CALGARY -- A Calgary dad didn’t show any emotion as a judge found the 55-year-old guilty of drunk driving in a crash that killed his 17-year-old daughter, but there were sighs of relief then cheers outside the courtroom.
Michael Shaun Bomford, has been convicted of dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm in connection with the 2016 death of his daughter Meghan. He is also guilty of causing a crash while having an illegal amount of alcohol in his system.
Court heard Bomford was three times the legal alcohol limit when he was behind the wheel of his Jeep on October 18, 2016. According to police reports, Bomford was driving Meghan and her friend, Kelsey Nelson, to the CPS headquarters to get criminal record checks so they could apply to be ringette coaches.
While on McKnight Boulevard, he lost control of the vehicle between 52nd and 68th Street. He was travelling 112 km/h in an 80 km/h zone when the vehicle rolled and crashed into the median.
All three occupants were thrown from the vehicle.
Bomford and Nelson were taken to Foothills Medical Centre in life-threatening condition following the crash while Meghan was pronounced dead at the scene.
Family members, who were in court Friday, say the verdict gives them a feeling that justice has been served.
“It’s been a long road to get here, it’s been difficult for all of our families to see and hear things that were being said and so it was incredibly validating to be able to sit there and see her say those words of guilt,” said Heather Cooper, Meghan Bomford’s aunt.
“It’s difficult that a parent wouldn't take responsibility for their actions and would instead blame their child for this."
Multiple witnesses stopped to help, including two nurses, and volunteer firefighter. Cooper says that fact helped them through the difficult situation.
“We are just so grateful for those people who stopped and helped and called 911 and stayed with them, held their hands and said they were loved, its as all that we could ask for,” she said.
Nelson, Bomford’s best friend, was 16 years old at the time. She suffered brain injuries and has no recollection of the crash.
“She's living with injuries that she’s going to have for the rest of her life. Her life has changed forever but she’s amazing and she’s strong and she’s kicking butt every single day and proven everybody that nothing can stop her,” said Cooper.
Meghan Bomford's mother was not in the court room for Friday’s decision. She testified during the trial last December, saying her daughter sent her text messages just minutes before the crash, describing her dad behind the wheel. Lisa Bomford told court that her daughter complained her dad felt it was an inconvenience to drive the girls.
The defence argued witnesses could not say who was driving the Jeep.
But Court of Queen's Bench Justice Kristine Eidsvick rejected the defence’s suggestion that either one of the girls could have been behind the wheel, ruling the text messages were reliable to determine Mr. Bomford was the driver.
“We’re really happy this part is now closed and we can move past it, as a family we can finally grieve, not have this hanging over us and we can just go forward, celebrating Meghan and Kelsey every single day,” said Cooper.
Bomford remains out on bail.
The case returns to court at the end of May for a sentencing hearing.