Painful memories are coming back to those around the province for very different reasons after a woman was charged with impaired driving in a crash that killed family of four on Highway 11 north of Saskatoon.
“You start your own mourning again for our loss but you also mourn for the Van de Vorst family,” Allan Kerpan said, speaking to News Talk Radio’s MainStreet program.
Kerpan lost his 25-year-old daughter Danille in a crash on Thanksgiving 2014. The driver in that crash is also charged with being impaired at the time.
“From that second on you go into a fog,” he described.
“I didn’t know before we lost Danille how deep the grief and the sadness and the sorrow is, but I know what it feels like for that family today and that’s very, very hurtful.”
The fatal crash also brings up strong emotions for Ted Gross, but for completely opposite reasons.
In 1998, Gross drove drunk and killed a 21-year-old woman in Regina. He was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail and spent a total of nine months behind bars.
“You go from one day thinking your life’s pretty normal to the next day essentially a cold-blooded murderer,” he said.
Gross’ blood alcohol limit was three times the legal limit. He didn’t remember the crash at all. In fact, his first recollection was waking up in a jail cell.
“I thought I was invincible. I thought something like this will never happen to me or it always happens to someone else,” he explained. “When it came to the choice of drinking and driving I never thought I’d be responsible for something as tragic as what I was.”
He admitted no sentence can truly reflect the loss of somebody’s life.
“Do I think it’s fair? No. I took a life and 3 1/2 years or even if its 10 years – it’s never fair.”
Both Gross and Kerpan believe in stiffer penalties for drunk drivers. Kerpan thinks there should be a three strikes type of law where after three times of being convicted for impaired driving, an individual loses their license.
Both men say the laws around impaired driving need to be re-visited.