Sep 24, 2013 - GRIEVING PARENTS PRESS THEIR CASE AFTER DEATH DRIVER ACQUITTED [Beckie & Johnny]

The last three years have been painful for Pitt Meadows mom Debbie Dyer and her family.

In October 2010, Dyer’s daughter Beckie, 19, and her boyfriend Johnny De Oliveira, 21, were killed in a driving accident after a woman swerved, flipped, and slammed into the roof of their car at Harris Road and Lougheed Highway, police said.

But the pain got even worse after the woman, Andelina Kristina Hecimovic, was acquitted on two counts of dangerous driving causing death Wednesday.

Family and friends have rallied behind Dyer to protest what they’re calling a wrongful judgment.

“I saw the woman kiss her fiancé in court,” Dyer said. “Becky and Johnny should be able to kiss each other, get engaged, be happy. We don’t want this to happen to other families ... but when the person isn’t accountable, then what message does that send the public?”

Madam Justice Miriam Gropper dismissed the charges against Hecimovic, 26.

Dyer and her group are making a video with shots of themselves holding signs at the crash site saying: “When justice isn’t served, another crime is committed.”

They’re also including clips of Dyer and De Oliveira’s mother Audrey reading their victim impact statements at the Maple Ridge Cemetery where the teens are buried.

“We never got to tell them our story and what we feel ... and it’s time to do that,” Dyer said.

According to Families For Justice caseworker Markita Kaulius, the court was told that on the day of the accident, someone had vomited on Hecimovic, an LPN nurse, and she was in a hurry to drive to her boyfriend’s house and get a hug.

“She even admitted to driving erratically and going in and out of traffic,” Kaulius said. “But the judge said it’s the norm for people to drive in that speed when in that intersection.”

Hecimovic was found to have been driving 130 kilometres per hour in an 80-km/h zone.

The Crown also said that Hecimovic ran a red light and went through the right-turning lane, thinking it was a straight-through one.

Dyer’s and De Oliveira’s families are looking to appeal the verdict. They are encouraging people to write to federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay to press for tougher laws against impaired and distracted driving.

“We all feel that this was a travesty of justice,” Kaulius said. “People lost their lives and she just walked out scot-free with no fine, no nothing. It sets a wrong precedent and that has to be changed.”

Source: The Province


 

Last updated on: 2013-10-21 | Link to this post