Calgary woman sentenced for drunk driving crash killing teen
Published Thursday, September 12, 2019 6:01AM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 12, 2019 7:32PM MDT
A Calgary woman who admitted she killed a 19-year-old passenger in another vehicle was handed a three and a half year prison sentence Thursday , which the judge suggested she serve in a healing lodge.
30-year-old Jaylene Lagrelle pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death and four counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
19-year-old Shiraz Shermohammad died after Lagrelle ran a red light on Metis Trail at Country Hills Boulevard Northeast in the early morning hours of Oct 23, 2016 and crashed her SUV into the passenger side of the car.
Shermohammad was pronounced dead at the scene and his parents and autistic sister were injured in the crash. The family had been returning home from a night out at the movies.
Court heard Lagrelle's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, and that she had a passenger in her vehicle as well.
The Shermohammad family said no sentence is enough.
"My son is not coming back," said Karim Shermohammad, Shiraz's father.
"My son is gone," he added. "It changed my whole family's life."
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Keith Yamauchi is recommending that Lagrelle serve most of her sentence in the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.
"He's giving a lot of weight to restorative justice," said Lagrelle's lawyer Alain Hepner. "This is a really well reasoned, logical decision dealing with restorative justice with this particular accused and I think she deserves that.
"Her life was just like I said in court, a volcano of alcoholism," he added. "That's where she came from."
Court heard Lagrelle was in and out of foster care until she was 16 years old. She reported being the victim of physical and sexual abuse. She also lost both her father and stepfather to alcohol-related illnesses.
Justice Yamauchi considered Lagrelle's Indigenous upbringing but also said he could not ignore a previous impaired driving conviction, saying this was not an impulsive act and does not excuse the crimes she committed.
Yamamuchi said Canadian drivers aren't getting the message.
"They continue to consume intoxicating substances and get behind the wheel of these killing machines," he said.
Court also heard Lagrelle, who is a mother of three, tried to blame an unknown third party who she initially said was driving, untl she called police two weeks after the crash to say she was behind the wheel.
Outside court, Hepner said his client is remorseful and her apology to the family was genuine.
"It's a tragedy," said Hepner. "They lost their son, they were injured, it's horrific on both sides."