Apr 30, 2014 - SISTER OF CHESTERMERE MAN KILLED BY DRUNK DRIVER SAYS APOLOGY TOO LITTLE TOO LATE [Tony Harrison]

Motorcyclist Tony Harrison was killed in a head-on crash with July 12, 2012. The man charged in his death, Kelly James York, 43, pleaded guilty Sept. 25, 2013 to impaired driving causing death.


The apology offered by drunken motorist Kelly James York came too late and without enough conviction, the still-grieving sister of the man he killed said Wednesday.

Karen Harrison said she’s not convinced the remorse expressed by York at the end of his sentencing hearing was heartfelt.

“I thought it was bull----,” Harrison said, moments after York, reading from a prepared statement, addressed court.

“This is the first pathetic effort at an apology in two years,” Harrison said.

“If you want to take responsibility for your actions you’d at least look us in the eye, but he didn’t even do that.”

York, 43, said he was sorry for the alcohol fuelled collision on July 15, 2012, which took the life of Chestermere resident Tony Harrison.

“I can’t bring your loved one back, but I can do all I can to teach those around me to never drink and drive again,” York said.

“I am truly sorry for this horrible tragedy, which is all my fault and I accept responsibility.

“Please know how sorry I am for what I have done,” said York, who had two prior impaired convictions before the crash that killed Tony Harrison.

“I know that drinking and driving is wrong.

“I have finally addressed my drinking.”

Defence lawyer Alain Hepner earlier told provincial court Judge Paul Mason his client has been on the wagon since the fatal crash.

“His last drink was the day of the accident and he doesn’t drink any more,” Hepner said.

The high-profile criminal lawyer said such an offence would normally attract a two-year prison term for a first offender.

But in acknowledging his client’s past behaviour, Hepner said a penitentiary term in the 3 1/2- to four-year range would be appropriate.

That’s still not enough, argued Crown prosecutor Meagan Blake, who pushed for a sentence of five to six years.

Blake noted that not only does York have prior impaired driving convictions from 1993 and 2000, but he also was twice convicted of driving disqualified.

The second of those convictions led to a 60-day jail term.

Despite those convictions, York still didn’t get the message, she told Mason.

“What’s clear is a prior conviction (for impaired) was not enough, two prior convictions was not enough, time in custody was not enough,” Blake said.

“What is it that’s going to deter Mr. York?”

Mason will hand down a ruling June 6.

Source: The Calgary Sun


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Last updated on: 2014-06-14 | Link to this post