The corporate lawyer charged with impaired driving causing death in Sunday’s fatal hit and run has been accused of drinking and driving before.
Shane Stevenson was first charged with impaired driving back in 2008. That charge was eventually reduced to careless driving. Stevenson had to pay a $500 fine and was given 18-months probation.
In 2009, the 47-year-old was charged with impaired driving again, as well as failing to take a breathalyzer. Those charges were later dropped.
That news is no consolation to Michael Wiwchar.
His 16-year-old daughter Chloe was crossing Kingsway near Tower Road on Sunday night in a marked crosswalk. The crossing lights were activated when she was hit by a truck that left the scene, but was chased down by an off-duty police officer.
Chloe was pronounced dead in hospital later that night.
“This shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but really this shouldn’t have happened at all,” her father said.
Michael couldn’t believe it when he heard about Stevenson’s previous charges.
“I was shocked, but that turned into anger very quickly,” he said. “We all know it’s wrong. But until it affects you directly, you don’t understand the severity, or the impact.”
Stevenson was released on bail. He must abide by a number of conditions, including that he not drink and not drive. Michael doesn’t agree with the decision to let Stevenson go home.
“He got to spend $50,000 to go see his little girl. There’s no amount of money that makes it so I can see mine.”
Chloe’s friends are grieving too. Alex Sexsmith went to high school with Chloe.
“I’m going to remember her by the big smile she always had and the kindness she had. The motivation she gave me,” he said.
Sexsmith said hearing about the impaired driving charges made him angry.
Sexsmith was in the same gym class as Chloe and said classmates have been supporting each other in their grief.
“She was too young to go. If you’re one of those people that drink and drive? All I have to say is shame on you,” Sexsmith said.
Michael wants to see changes to the consequences of impaired driving as well.
“A stricter penalty, absolutely, because clearly we’re not — as a society — getting this message,” he said.
Chloe’s funeral is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Park Memorial Chapel. It’s there Michael hopes to get his message across to friends and family.
“Don’t ever drink and drive. I want to try to get that message to everyone. It’s not just a year suspension or a fine — it’s the loss of a young life.”
Two GoFundMe campaigns were launched to help take the financial pressure off of Chloe’s families. One was to support Chloe’s mom Holly Lucier, while the other is in support of her father Michael Wiwchar.