Family devastated by alleged drunk driving death
Published Wednesday, January 15, 2014 11:52AM MST Last Updated Wednesday, January 15, 2014 6:47PM MST
The family of a young Calgary man, killed in a suspected drunk driving crash, is speaking out about their loss and the devastating effects of drinking and driving.
Francis Pesa, 20, was critically injured in a crash on New Year’s Day and died a few days later from his injuries.
Emergency crews were called to the crash on Metis Trail just south of Country Hills Blvd. N.E. on January, 1, 2014 at about 6:00 p.m.
Police say a Dodge Ram travelling southbound on Metis Trail crossed the centre line and side-swiped a Mazda with two people inside.
The truck then smashed into a BMW and was then hit by another vehicle that was travelling northbound on Metis Trail.
Pesa was the driver of the BMW and a friend of the family says they are still reeling from his sudden death.
Rizalyn Reyes says Pesa had just returned from helping typhoon victims in the Philippines and was headed to the grocery store with his girlfriend when the truck smashed into their vehicle.
“Francis suffered massive injuries, bleeding internally from failing organs and broken bones and struggled for five days in the hospital to overcome those injuries,” said Reyes.
Reyes says Pesa was devoted to the care of his family and friends and will be deeply missed.
“Francis lived his life with vigor and passion and fought for his life with the same courage and heroism we came to expect from him,” said Reyes.
Reyes says they are struggling to understand how such a tragedy could happen in the first place.
“It is difficult to articulate the profound impact that this crash and Francis’ death has had on all of his friends and family and all those who feel such deep sorrow at such a senseless tragedy. It is even more challenging to comprehend the choice that the drunk driver made and the decision the people around him made in allowing him to drive,” said Reyes. “The knowledge that Francis was killed because a drunk driver refused to spend 20, 30, 40 dollars for a taxi will forever pain us. We fervently pray that his death and suffering will not be in vain and hope that there will be justice in the future for Francis.”
Pesa is survived by his father Ramil, mother Grace, brother Hervin, brother Hugo, brother Rob and girlfriend Christina.
The family released an official statement on Wednesday and say a funeral will be held for Francis Pesa on Saturday, January 25 at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Calgary.
The driver of the Dodge truck, Kulwinder Singh Chohan, 36, of Calgary, is charged with impaired driving causing death.