A fatal impaired driving case came to an emotional end in a Calgary courtroom Thursday afternoon.
A judge sentenced 30-year-old Jaylene Lagrelle to three-and-a-half years in custody for the 2016 death of Shiraz Shermohammad. She was also sentenced to two-and-a-half years for the serious injuries two other family members sustained in the crash. Both sentences will be served concurrently.
“It was a hard one,” Shermohammad’s sister Tahnaz said. “It took almost three years but finally justice was served, I guess.”
Shermohammad was 19 years old when the car he was in was struck while he was coming home from an evening at the movies with his parents and sister.
Lagrelle admitted to running a red light and crashing her SUV into the passenger side of their car.
Court heard Lagrelle was speeding and her blood alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit. She also initially tried to blame someone else for driving the vehicle, only coming forward to claim responsibility a few weeks later.
“It changed my whole family’s life,” Karim Shermohammad, Shiraz’s father, said outside court.
The family has been dealing with various injuries since the crash that took Shermohammad’s life. They’ve also had to rely on support from other family members to help them medically and financially.
But Karim Shermohammad said none of that compares to losing his son.
“I’m going to the cemetery and crying every day,” he said. “My son isn’t coming back, right? My son is gone.”
Lagrelle’s lawyer Alain Hepner said it was a tragic situation for all involved.
“There were sobs coming from both sides of the bench today in the courthouse,” he said. “It was awful, awful.”
Hepner added his client was deeply remorseful for the deadly crash and hadn’t consumed alcohol since.
Court heard Lagrelle had a troubled childhood, she was in foster care and her extended family had a history of alcohol abuse.
This was also her second conviction for drunk driving. Still, Hepner said the sentence was a just one.
The judge has recommended Lagrelle serve her sentence at the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Maple Creek, Sask., where she can apply to have her 21-month-old daughter stay with her.