Months after tragic collision, fundraiser held in memory of three victims
Published Saturday, September 1, 2012 6:56PM MDT Last Updated Saturday, September 1, 2012 7:08PM MDT
Over three days friends and family of three young men who died last November in a collision with an alleged drunk driver will gather, in an effort to leave a permanent memorial for the victims.
“If we can get sentencing changed, the public more aware of what actually goes on, that’s a powerful legacy for my son to leave,” Sheri Arsenault said.
Arsenault has been petitioning to make sentences for drinking and driving harsher – less than one year after a collision with an alleged drunk driver left her son Brad Arsenault, 18, and his two friends Kyle Novak, 18 and Thaddeus Lake, 22, dead.
The collision occurred in the early hours of Saturday, November 26 just before 3 a.m. in the area of Highway 625 near 60 Street.
All three young men were pronounced dead at the scene.
The memorial is happening at the same time new penalties are being introduced for drivers caught with Blood Alcohol Content between .05 and .08 – while Arsenault is glad to see the change, she doesn’t believe it goes far enough.
“The victims have no rights at all,” Arsenault said.
“My goal is for the laws to be strict enough for people to think twice.”
Since the tragedy, a void has been left in the Town of Beaumont – many in the community will over the weekend, taking part in the favourite activities of the three victims – all to raise money to build a park in their honour.
Meanwhile, those close to the three victims are looking back on the good times – and hope the loss might pave the way for change to sentences for those found guilty of impaired driving.
“They’re funny, hilarious kids, and just full of life,” Kristen Paul-Buska said.
“It’s just not fair, young lives shouldn’t be taken, and the guys, people get to walk around, and they get a second chance, but our friends don’t.”
In January, 28-year old Johnathan Pratt was arrested and charged with three counts each of impaired driving causing death, driving with a BAC over the legal limit causing death and manslaughter – a preliminary hearing will take place in January 2013.
With files from Brenna Rose