Natasha Warren

Killer driver says she’d trade places with Kassandra Kaulius

Natasha Warren facing possible jail time in drunken Surrey crash that killed 22-year-old.

The woman who was drunk at the wheel of the van that sped through a red light and crashed into Surrey’s Kassandra Kaulius last year apologized in court Tuesday morning, saying words couldn’t express how sorry she was for causing the 22-year-old’s death.

“If I could take it back, I would trade places with her in a second,” said Natasha Warren, 35, facing the judge in Surrey Provincial Court.

“Please don’t drink and drive,” she said, vowing to speak to youth about her experience, “it hurts so many people.”

Tuesday was the second day of Warren’s sentencing hearing. In July, she pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, impaired driving causing death and failure to stop at an accident causing bodily harm.

The Crown is seeking a three-and-a-half year federal jail term, plus a five-year driving prohibition after her sentence concludes. The defence wants a jail sentence of just over two years (25 months), plus a five-year driving ban.

Warren’s lawyer, Mark Cacchioni, said his client is a “decent young woman” who suffers immense grief daily living with the knowledge she’s responsible for Kaulius’ death.

He said she always wanted to plead guilty, but he advised her not to do so until he reviewed the Crown’s case. Then she not only pleaded guilty, but fully cooperated with police, providing the hockey jersey she was wearing the night of the crash and a DNA sample.

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Cacchioni. “She’s preparing herself for atonement…”

Dale Trimble, a counsellor who saw Warren seven times this year, said she immediately said she wanted to take responsibility for the crash and showed a willingness to go to prison – something he said he rarely sees when counselling accused criminals.

Shelley Warren, Natasha’s mom, said her daughter is “just a regular girl,” not unlike Kassandra, and her actions on the night Kaulius was killed were “inconceivable” and out of character.

“My daughter is a very, very good, kind-hearted person. From the time she was little, she’s always wanted to help people.”

She said Natasha would normally be the one to take car keys from people who had been drinking.

Family friend Jacqueline Gill said Natasha wants to take responsibility for the fatal collision and has never tried to minimize what happened.

Cacchioni argued that the Crown’s requested sentence of 42 months amounted to “isolating” her from society. He said instead of “warehousing” her for that long, her time could be better spent fulfilling her desire to spread the message about he horrors of drunk driving.

On Monday the court heard that Warren had at least a bottle and a half of wine before getting in her company van the night of M

ay 3, 2011. Kaulius was waiting to turn at the intersection of 152 Street and 64 Avenue when Warren ran the red light, going 103 km/h, and slammed into her car. Warren then fled the scene into a wooded area nearby, before being located and arrested.

Breath samples after the crash showed her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

Markita Kaulius, Kassandra’s mom, said time will tell if Natasha uses her experience for good. The family objected to Natasha’s mom comparing her to Kassandra, and was disappointed Warren didn’t take the opportunity to face them as she issued her

apology in court.

“She had one chance to look at us and she didn’t,” said Markita.

Warren, who has reportedly abstained from drinking since the crash, has no prior criminal record and wants to become a youth probation officer.

Her sentence is scheduled to be handed down on Dec. 28.

The Kaulius’ are discouraged that Warren gets to spend Christmas with her family when they’ll never have another with Kassandra.

“The angel on top of our tree has a whole new meaning,” said Markita.

 

 

Just Posted

Surrey cold-case murder is Crime Stoppers’ ‘Crime of the week’

Police have yet to arrest a suspect in the April 24, 2011 murder of Devon Allaire-Bell, 19, in Newton

Surrey’s ready for winter with 17,000 tonnes of salt, online snow plow tracker

A sidewalk-clearing pilot project is continuing in City Centre this year

LETTER: Oppal should delay Surrey’s policing plan until we can vote in new mayor

In case of transition plan, red tape and bureaucracy might actually save Surrey’s skin

TransLink to discuss proposed bus-route changes at White Rock forum

“It is important that the opinions of riders are heard,” says mayor

SURREY EVENTS: ‘Classic Scary Movie Marathon’ for Halloween, and more

Concerts, plays, fundraisers and other events in our weekly guide for Surrey

Fashion Fridays: 5 things to remove from your closet

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Workers at four Vancouver hotels ratify contract with higher wages, job security

Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan says it’s the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read