Faces of victims shared with White Rock drivers, as CounterAttack launches provincewide

Sentences for impaired driving causing death rarely served to term, says Surrey victim’s mother

While standing in front of a banner, which displayed dozens of victims of dangerous driving, Families for Justice founder Markita Kaulius pointed to a smiling face and shared part of their story.

She then pointed to another face. Then another, and another…

“Marilyn Laursen was killed May 15, 2011 in White Rock here, she was crossing the street when she was killed. The accused got a sentence of two years and I believe he was out in seven months,” Kaulius said.

“Bryan McCron was killed five days before his wedding by a… driver here in Surrey. The gentleman had two previous driving-impaired charges. He got a sentence of two years and was released after six months.”

Drivers in both crimes pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, with charges of impaired driving stayed in McCron’s death.

Kaulius was outside the White Rock RCMP detachment Thursday to help officers promote their CounterAttack program, part of a provincial initiative launching tomorrow (Saturday) to focus on impaired driving at roadblocks.

RCMP volunteers held the banner while Const. Chantal Sears stopped and checked motorists for signs of impaired driving.

Sears told Peace Arch News that in the past two weeks, White Rock officers have dealt with two cases of suspected impaired driving. In the first, on Nov. 16, an off-duty officer called 911 after observing a driver in the 1500-block of Kerfoot Road at 10 a.m. The officer intervened when the vehicle came to a stop and prevented the driver from leaving

Charges are expected to be laid against a 63-year-old White Rock man in connection with that incident, Sears said.

Police are also investigating a case from this past Monday, when a motorist drove into an unoccupied parked vehicle in the 15600-block of Pacific Avenue just before 8:30 p.m.

Charges are expected to be laid against a 53-year-old White Rock woman in connection with that incident.

Kaulius– whose daughter Kassandra, 22, was killed in 2011 when a driver of a company van ran a red light at 152 Street and 64 Avenue at 103 km/h – is asking the federal government to impose minimum sentences for impaired driving cases that result in death.

Natasha Leigh Warren pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing Kassandra’s death, failing to remain at the scene of a crash and driving with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit causing death. Warren was sentenced to 37 months but served 18 months behind bars.

“Which is a long time for impaired driving. Most people received two to four years are out in about seven to nine months,” Kaulius told PAN, calling some sentences “ridiculous.”

“Somebody has died because of somebody’s choice to drink and drive,” she said. “We’ve seen sentences of one day in jail; $750 fine; $1,500 fine; 90 days to be served on weekends…”

Kaulius – a Surrey resident and administrative assistant with Langley RCMP’s protective services – said she has concerns that now that cannabis is legalized, it’s only going to increase the number of impaired drivers; “great concern.”

“We haven’t got any stats here in Canada cause it’s only been just about six weeks, but we know there will be future impaired driving deaths and drugs will be involved as well as alcohol,” she said.

Kaulius and Sears agree that deaths or injury from drinking and driving are 100 per cent preventable.

“I just really ask people this holiday season to please don’t drink and drive – have a plan in place before they take their first drink. If anybody sees anybody driving impaired, please call and report them, call 911 and report them, because you might be saving their life or somebody else’s loved one,” Kaulius said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region over the last week.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
CHARTS: Weekly COVID-19 case double in Fraser North health area, up 50% in Vancouver

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region.

Elections BC has received a little more than 42,000 vote-by-mail packages from Surrey voters. . (Black Press Media File)
Elections BC has received about 51,000 mail-in ballots from Surrey voters

Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6

A overview concept drawing of the Central District and its City Plaza, Gateway and Kennedy Heights neighbourhoods included in the Mayor’s Housing Task Force for Scott Road report. (City of Delta photo)
Walkable mixed-use neighbourhoods focus of task force’s vision for Scott Road

Report by Mayor’s Housing Task Force for Scott Road was presented to Delta council on Monday

tease photo
Food truck desserts from Prague ‘pop up’ at Surrey shopping mall

The Praguery offers a modern take on a traditional pastry

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Three more Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’ making second Abbotsford court appearance on Monday

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Dennis Cholowski shows off a Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Blue sneaker, the type of shoe only a true sneakerhead would appreciate. (Facebook photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack Chiefs alum Dennis Cholowski shows off ‘sneakerhead’ collection

The Detroit Red Wing has been spending his NHL paycheques building up an impressive closet of shoes

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Maestro Otto Tausk. (Photo: vancouversymphony.ca)
50/50 lotto players buck up for Metro Vancouver musicians hit hard by COVID

‘Rapidly growing jackpot’ for VSO’s 50/50 draw as they go online with TheConcertHall.ca

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Abbotsford’s Kaitlyn Cassels is visited by her mother Heather Musika while recovering in hospital. (Submitted)
Abbotsford woman to have life-long injuries after falling 27 feet from bridge

19-year-old Kaitlyn Cassels says a misstep near the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge led to a 27-foot fall

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Most Read