Family of young man killed in drunk driving crash speaks out

CALGARY- The family of a young Calgary man who was killed in a car crash—allegedly caused by a drunk driver—is speaking out about the dangers of impaired driving.

Ramil ‘Francis’ Pesa, 20, was rushed to Foothills Hospital after being seriously injured in a four-car collision on New Year’s Day. His car was hit by a Dodge Ram that crossed the centre line on Metis Trail between 80th Avenue and Country Hills Boulevard.

After five days in hospital trying to recover from internal bleeding and failing organs, he passed away.

“It is difficult to articulate the profound impact that this crash and Francis’ death has had on his family and friends, and all those who feel deep sorrow at such a senseless tragedy,” his grieving family said in a statement.

Just hours before the crash, Pesa had returned from a month-long trip to the Philippines, where he was helping victims of Typhoon Haiyan. His family lost 41 relatives in the storm.

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“They gathered a bunch of medication and went to the streets and gave out first aid supplies and offered their support, and offered to help people who lost their homes,” says family friend Reese Reyes.

His family was devastated to learn his life was snuffed out because of drunk driving- especially since Pesa himself did not drink.

“He was that guy who did not drink because he wanted to make sure that he drove his friends home,” Reyes adds.

“It is even more challenging to comprehend the choice that the drunk driver made and the decision the people around him made in allowing to drive,” the family’s statement said. “The knowledge that Francis was killed because a drunk driver refused to spend $20, $30 or $40 for a taxi will forever pain us.

“We fervently pray that his death and suffering will not be in vain, and hope that there will be justice in the future for Francis.”

The driver of the Dodge Ram was arrested at the scene. Kulwinder Singh Chohan, 36, has been charged with impaired driving, impaired driving over 0.08 and impaired driving causing injury.

Pesa is survived by his parents and three brothers.

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