Impaired driver, victim’s mother unite in hopes of changing laws
CALGARY- Two strangers forever changed by one fateful night, have struck up what they call an ‘indescribable relationship.’
In February 2010, Brad and Krista Howe were killed by a drunk driver—leaving behind five young children. The man behind the wheel was Chad Olsen.
“Every day I think about it, but I think about what I can do to make it better,” he says. “I don’t want to see anybody go through what they’ve gone through, or what I’ve put myself through.”
Three years later, he returned to the Red Deer intersection where two promising lives were snuffed out—alongside Krista’s mother Sandra Green.
“We are connected whether we want to be or not,” she says, of the man who took her daughter’s life. “If I could change it and Krista could be here, I would do it in a heartbeat…but we can’t.”
This June was the first time the two met.
“I just wanted to know what he was like,” Green says. “All the time I heard his voice in court I never saw his eyes. I wanted to look in his eyes to see if he was sorry, if he did care, if he did have a conscience.”
Olsen says returning to the intersection where the Howes died, was about facing his demons.
“[I wanted to] take responsibility, not hide away and shy away from it,” he says. “It would be easier to not know my victims, know nothing about them and just try and move on but…I don’t know, it’s just not me I guess.”
He is now working alongside Green to toughen up the penalties for impaired drivers, after serving seven months in prison.
“It’s really hard when things like this happen. You don’t pick your victims, it can happen to anyone. It can be two great parents,..there’s no way of preventing who it happens to.
“Our common thread is a thread that is coming from something violent, horrific and wrong on every level,” Green adds. “The most wrong thing is that our system perpetuates it and condones it and encourages it.”