Lawyer who killed teen while driving impaired sentenced to 3.5 years
EDMONTON -- An Edmonton man has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison after driving drunk and killing a teen two years ago.
Appearing in court on Wednesday, Shane Stevenson’s counsel and the Crown jointly asked for the sentence, also requesting a five-year driving prohibition.
Justice Peter Michalyshyn also ordered the former Dentons lawyer to submit his DNA.
Stevenson, dressed in jeans, a sport coat and a black mask, listened as family and friends of Chloe Wiwchar described life without her.
“The moment I was told my daughter was dead, I began living in a different world,” Holly Lucier said to Stevenson.
“My daughter was my whole world.”
Lucier told court she has been unable to return to work and lives under a fog of mental illness.
Her ex, Chloe’s father, she said, has been “broken.”
“He hasn’t come back to his family… His wife, Christina, she’s living with a shadow of the man she married.”
Christina Wiwchar, Chloe’s step-mom, told Stevenson her husband had retreated from his family and hadn’t returned to work.
Her step-daughter’s death has also made her fear for her other kids’ safety: “I watch my kids like a hawk.”
DRIVING RECORD NOTED
Stevenson, pleaded guilty on Oct. 5 to impaired driving causing death.
On Wednesday, court heard the 50-year-old father of three has recognized his own alcohol addiction since 2015, and at the time of the crash, was dealing with several mental and physical illnesses of his own and with family.
His driving record was taken into consideration, including a 24-hour driving suspension in 2017 for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Stevenson told court he takes full responsibility for the 16-year-old's death and that he's facing his actions by staying sober.
"For me to be the reason for her not being here today and I took her life is a horrible thing to say," Stevenson said.
"I'm not going to hide from this. I did it and it's a horrible thing... I'm truly sorry and I'm very remorseful."
Michalyshyn said he believes Stevenson genuinely accepts responsibility for the crime, calling his guilty plea "the single most mitigating factor" in his acceptance of the Crown and counsel's joint submission.
On April 15, 2018, an off-duty officer witnessed Wiwchar being struck in a marked crosswalk by a truck, which he followed when its driver fled the scene.
Stevenson was found behind the wheel and arrested in an alley in the area.
Investigators determined he had been speeding, and his blood alcohol content was 170 milligrams in 100 millilitres, more than twice the legal limit.
Wiwchar was a Grade 11 student at the Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts.
She was rushed to hospital, but couldn’t be saved.
She would have turned 19 years old in 2020.
“What really guts me to the core is how you just left her there to die alone,” Chloe’s aunt Tracy Stinson told Stevenson.
“You are the biggest coward ever.”
The teen’s grandmother added, “These past two-and-a-half years have been so painful.”
“I think about her every day and I wonder what she would be doing now,” Aila McGie.
The family also thanked the off-duty officer, whose actions helped ensure Stevenson faced his actions in court.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s David Ewasuk