Crown seeks 12-year sentence in drunk driving case

Three killed in collision

VANCOUVER — A cyclist who fell several hundred metres behind two of his friends on the day they were hit and killed by a drunk driver says the accident scarred him for life.

Stewart Blaser told a B.C. Supreme Court sentencing hearing for Samuel Alec that when he recalls that day, “I want to curl up in a ball and cry.”

The court heard an agreed statement of facts Monday that said Alec, 42, was driving home from a friend’s funeral shortly before noon on Sunday, May 21, 2015, when he crossed the centre line and crashed head on with cyclists Kelly Blunden and Ross Chafe, who died instantly in the collision.

Paul Pierre Jr., a passenger in the vehicle and a man Alec considered to be a brother, was also killed in the collision.

Blaser told the court that the images from that day will haunt him forever.

“I recall walking towards the accident scene to check on my friends and saw a body part and bicycle debris everywhere. It was so horrific that I had to turn back. It made me sick.”

As he walked back to his seat Blaser paused and stared at Alec, fists tightened and jaw clenched.

Alec’s blood alcohol level was measured after the collision at about three times the legal limit, and numerous witnesses described him as visibly drunk and smelling of alcohol, the agreed statement of facts said.

Alec has more than 40 convictions on his criminal record, 22 of which are driving offences or relate in some way to the charges to which he’s pleaded guilty, Crown attorney Grace Oh said.

She described his record as lengthy, persistent, related and recent.

“It is truly significant and, in the Crown’s view and submission, an egregious criminal and driving history, related to repeatedly failing to comply with various orders,” she added.

Oh also referenced Alec’s pre-sentence report and a previous Gladue report, which directs the court to take into account circumstances facing Canada’s aboriginal people.

“Alec is a First Nations man, having a childhood in a large family, which was marred by periods of neglect and significant physical, emotional and sexual abuse,” she said, explaining that both his parents were residential school survivors.

“The family suffered the long-term effects of colonization.”

The Crown has recommended Alec be sentenced to 12 years in prison, and that he be barred from driving for up to 18 years. He has been held in custody since August 2015.

Alec slowly twirled an eagle feather in his hand as tears ran down his face while he listened from the prisoner’s box to victim impact statements from the friends and family of the three men killed.

Blunden’s mother, Penelope Day, spoke of her upbringing in Britain during the Second World War. Despite being taught to confront adversity with a stiff upper lip and not show her emotions, she said she can’t when it comes to the loss of her son.

“I’ve had almost two years to try and understand the senselessness of this man’s actions, but regardless I will forever be heartbroken,” she said.

“I love my son so dearly and miss him all the time. Death is so very, very final.”

The Crown read several statements to the court, including one from Lindsay Thevarge, Pierre Jr.’s daughter, who described the relationship between her young son and his grandfather.

“Deacon and his papa were inseparable. They loved each other to no end,” said the statement read in court.

“My son had just turned three shortly before his papa passed away. That is far too early to lose a papa.”

— Follow @gwomand on Twitter

Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Huge RV resort proposed for Buffalo Lake

Some residents feel 800-lot RV resort too big for area

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

Land wanted for Central Alberta Foodgrains project

23rd year for Lacombe area charity

Stolen vehicle found thanks to tip from motorist

Charges laid against Red Deer man and Leduc County woman

City prepares for legal marijuana

Legalized recreational marijuana expected to have impact on many city policies

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Evangelist Billy Graham, who reached millions, dies at 99

MONTREAT, N.C. — The Rev. Billy Graham, who transformed American religious life… Continue reading

Amid a flood of plastic, big companies see opportunity

LONDON — Public awareness of the problem of plastic waste is swelling… Continue reading

Ambulance’s slow response time angers family

Woman suffers stroke, waits nearly an hour for ambulance

Over-burdened refugee tribunal ditches legislated timelines for hearings

OTTAWA — The Immigration and Refugee Board is giving up on following… Continue reading

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off profile: Troy Gillard

** Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off takes place on April 14 at the Sheraton Red Deer

New mobile paramedic program starts in Red Deer

Paramedics provide on-site care to those with chronic conditions

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month