Man sentenced to two years, after friend killed in drunk driving crash

CALGARY- The man who pleaded guilty in the drunk driving death of his passenger has been sentenced to two years behind bars.

20-year-old Travis Meissinger was killed in a crash in the community of Dover in January 2011, after catching a ride home from a party with a friend. After drinking at a friend’s house, they decided to head to a nightclub—but never made it.

“[They were] going east at a high rate of speed, he lost control and hit a parked vehicle right on my son’s passenger door,” Travis’ father, Ken Meissinger told Global News. “It was instant.”
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21-year-old Chris Fitzsimons was charged with dangerous and impaired driving causing death, and plead guilty last month.

On Thursday, victim impact statements were read by Meissinger’s mother, brother, grandmother and aunt. The court room was packed by supporters of both Messinger and Fitzsimons.

“The three worst days of my life were when the cops showed up, the day I buried him and today, reliving every bit of it,” says Travis’ mother, Dana. “[Fitzsimons] says he’s remorseful, but it’s hard for me to feel anything right now.”

The Crown recommended a prison sentence of two to five years, while the defence asked for a two year sentence.

“There are no winners in this thing at all,” says defence lawyer Alain Hepner. “It was gut wrenching, it was emotional, it was raw. The nerves were exposed for everybody in that courtroom.”

Fitzsimons will serve his time in a federal penitentiary. When he’s released, he will be banned from driving for five years.