METRO VANCOUVER – A Delta woman convicted of impaired driving causing death is being released today (Nov. 4) after serving two-thirds of her sentence.
Carol Ann Berner, 62, is being let out on statutory release following a 2.5 year prison sentence that killed four-year-old Alexa Middelaer in a crash six years ago.
She was found guilty on charges of impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
In making its decision, the Parole Board of Canada cited Berner as a first-time offender that is a low risk to reoffend.
"The offence occurred when you chose to drive your vehicle after consuming alcohol. You killed a young girl and seriously injured her aunt," reads the decision.
Berner struck Middelaer and her aunt as they fed a horse at the side of a Ladner road on May 17, 2008.
A statement issued by the Middelaer family said "today is not about Carol Berner."
"Carol Berner’s behaviour was a by-product of a rather lax environment supported by a weak voice of sentencing that has historically been whispered from our court rooms," reads the statement. "This hushed voice has allowed dangerous behaviour to perpetuate in our communities, with people receiving a perceived ‘slap on the wrist’ for criminal behaviour."
The death of Alexa Middelaer – who attended preschool in Crescent Beach – led to some of the toughest changes in B.C.’s drunk driving laws.