Drunk driver sentenced in fatal Metis Trail crash

CALGARY – A Calgary man has been sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a fatal drunk driving collision last year.

Kulwinder Singh Chohan pled guilty to impaired driving causing death in a New Year’s Day crash on Metis Trail that killed 20-year-old Ramil ‘Francis’ Pesa.

Pesa’s car was hit by a Dodge Ram that crossed the centre line between 80th Avenue and Country Hills Boulevard.

He died in hospital less than a week later.

READ MORE: Crash victim’s friends and family launch impaired driving campaign

On Monday, a provincial court judge sentenced Chohan to three years behind bars followed by a five-year driving prohibition.

The sentence was a joint submission from the Crown and the defence.

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Chohan’s lawyer said the sentence was appropriate.

“Two to four years is the range for this type of offence,” said defence layer Steve Virk. “It’s a tragic situation all around.”

But Pesa’s family say they are disappointed and were looking for a longer prison term and believe such offenders should receive mandatory minimum sentences of at least five years.

“If we have that mandatory minimum, and you know if you did this crime that’s what you get, then it will at least lessen the pain of the family,” said Grace Pesa, the mother of the victim.

A local group called Families for Justice  is currently circulating a petition calling for mandatory minimum sentences and says it is also disappointed with the sentence.

“The public does not perceive three years as high,” said Sheri Aresenault, a member of Families For Justice. “It doesn’t even come close.”

The provincial court judge told the victim’s family the justice system will never be able to fully give the family what it wants and said she was sorry for that. Pesa’s family said ithey were glad to hear the acknowledgement from the judge.

“I know it’s not something judges do on a regular basis,” said Hervin Pesa, the victim’s brother. “I appreciate the time she took to address our family.”

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BELOW: A photo of Francis Pesa, killed in a fatal crash on Metis Trail in 2014.

Francis Pesa, 20, died in hospital after a collision on Metis Trail on January 1, 2014. Courtesy Kaesha Adolfo