A man who killed three teens in a construction zone near Spalding in 2015 will serve three years in jail.
Normand Mark Joseph Lavoie’s semi rear-ended a stopped car in a construction zone that caused a chain-reaction crash, killing Justin Gaja, 14, Kristian Skalicky, 15, and Carter Stevenson, 17, who were on their way home from football camp. All three teens were from Carrot River.
Lavoie’s semi pushed their car into another vehicle, which also struck and severely injured 21-year-old flag operator Samuel Fetherston.
On Monday, A Melfort judge sentenced Lavoie to three years for each victim killed, along with one year for the injured flag operator. The sentences will be served concurrently, meaning Lavoie will spend three years in jail.
Lavoie will also face a five-year driving ban following his release.
The judge said Lavoie’s remorse is sincere and profound, also noting alcohol was not a factor in the crash and he’s a low risk to re-offend.
In the agreed statement of facts presented in court in August, Lavoie, now 41, claimed he was on “auto pilot” when the teens were killed.
He said he didn’t recall seeing the six signs showing he was about to enter the construction zone.
Lavoie, originally from Winnipeg, avoided trial when he pleaded guilty to three counts of dangerous driving causing death and one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm in May.
In an ironic twist, court also learned Lavoie himself was the victim of a fatal crash when his mother and grandmother were killed in a truck driving incident.
Lavoie said the incident served as motivation to become a truck driver so what happened to him would never happen to another family.
Follow updates in the countroom from paNOW reporter Tyler Marr @journoMarr.