A 45-year-old Saskatchewan man has pleaded guilty to charges related to a September 2020 crash northeast of Edmonton that left two teens dead and seriously injured a third.
Kai Keithan Peters, 16, and Alexandra Ollington, 17, of Sherwood Park, Alta., were killed in a crash on Highway 21, just north of Township Road 542, at around 9:10 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17.
Morgan Maltby, 15, of the nearby community of Fort Saskatchewan, was also in the vehicle with the teens. Her family and RCMP later shared she suffered “life-altering injuries.”
The teens were in an SUV that was travelling south on the divided highway when it was hit by a northbound pickup truck driving in the south lane, RCMP said at the time of the crash.
Christopher D. Rempel of Caronport, Sask., was charged with operation of a motor vehicle while impaired and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.
Rempel was also charged with operation of a motor vehicle while impaired causing bodily harm.
On Friday, the courts confirmed Rempel had pleaded guilty to:
- One count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm
- Two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death
Sentencing is scheduled for June 2.
A spokesperson for Ollington’s family said the family is pleased the accused accepted responsibility for his actions and that the families won’t have to relive the incident any further.
“Since Alexandra’s death, our days have been filled with heartache, anger, frustration and all but brief rays of sunshine as we have been comforted by family, friends and cherished memories,” Ollington’s uncle John Moroz said in a statement.
“The sorrow and pain is as raw today as it was those many weeks ago.
“Three families have forever been altered. As we struggle through the holidays and milestones, it’s the day-to-day beauty that Alexandra brought to everyone around her that is most missed. It is this beauty that Alexandra’s mother, family and friends cling to as we struggle to heal and renavigate our shattered lives.”
Maltby’s mother said they’re a little bit in shock but definitely relieved the families won’t have to be in court for years.
“It doesn’t change the reality of what we’re living with day to day still with recovery and everything,” Cheryl Sutherland said.
She said her daughter is doing well but is still considered an in-patient at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital and has an appointment with her surgeon next week.
“We’re hoping that they’ll give her the go-ahead to ditch the crutches and put full weight bearing on her leg and then they can, you know, progress with her physio to a point where they can release her from being a patient in the hospital, and that’s very exciting.”
Sutherland said the whole process has been a roller-coaster ride.
“There’s so many unknown factors with recovery, with the many injuries that she had, so it’s been a really long process but lots of support.
“It’s been unbelievable… just the overwhelming amount of support from friends, family and even strangers.”
Sutherland said she’s become very close with the other teens’ families.
“Once the court process is over, then we will be able to close that chapter and, you know, not even move on but begin a new chapter in our lives… just put that part of it behind us so that we can focus on healing and grief and moving forward and being happy again.”