WEYBURN, Sask. – The sentence hearing for Keith Dunford started on Friday after he was found guilty of Dangerous Driving Causing Death in the death of an 18-year-old construction worker.
Over the duration of the trial, court heard the cold, hard facts – but Friday was all about the emotional impact Ashley Richards’ death had on her family, colleagues and the community.
Richards was only 18-years-old and working her first day as a flag person, when she was struck and killed by Keith Dunford’s SUV in August 2012.
Victim impact statements were read by the Crown on behalf of Richards’ parents, fiancé and twin sister Tamara Richards wrote, “I felt like the other half of who I am was ripped from me. You didn’t just destroy her life you destroyed her whole family’s (lives).”
The Crown is seeking three years behind bars with a five-year driving ban – citing the fact that Dunford was speeding, passed two semis and ignored 13 kilometers of signage in a construction zone.
Dunford spoke softly in court and was visibly upset as he offered an apology, saying he too has a daughter and will live with the tragic event for the rest of his life.
Dunford’s lawyer is seeking three years on extensive probation with a number of conditions, pointing to the fact Dunford had no criminal record prior and has accepted responsibility and is remorseful.
There is no minimum sentence for dangerous driving causing death but the max penalty Dunford could receive is 14-years behind bars, the judge is expected to make a decision on sentencing on December 4.