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Man pleads guilty to dangerous driving causing death after striking B.C. mother of four

Click to play video: 'Mission man pleads guilty to dangerous driving in rampage that killed mother of 4' Mission man pleads guilty to dangerous driving in rampage that killed mother of 4
WATCH: A Mission man has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of dangerous driving causing death in the 2018 truck rampage that claimed the life of Maple Ridge mother of four Kelly Sandoval. Rumina Daya reports – Apr 11, 2022

A man from Mission, B.C. has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death after striking a local mother of four with his truck in Maple Ridge four years ago.

Travis James Pare, 38, was charged with criminal negligence causing death, impaired driving causing death, and two counts of failing to stop at an accident after the devastating crash by Dewdney Trunk Road on Feb. 1, 2018.

He entered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of dangerous driving causing death in a Port Coquitlam court on Monday, and read out an apology to victim Kelly Sandoval’s family.

“It’s the first time he’s ever shown any remorse … maybe it’s true, but it’s too hard to believe right now,” Jennifer Tayes, Sandoval’s mother, told Global News outside the courthouse.

“There’s more to the case than we’re allowed to talk about, so I was really disappointed that it only dropped down to one charge after it being four, and it’s much lesser charge than what the original ones were.”

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Read more: Family says B.C. mother killed in parking lot rampage put son’s life ahead of hers

Pare was accused of being high on drugs on Feb. 1, 2018, when he reportedly backed his pickup truck into two parked vehicles, blasted through a McDonald’s drive-thru, crashed into a fence and hit a bus shelter.

Sandoval’s 10-year-old son was able to jump out of the way in the chaos, but the 35-year-old mother threw herself in front of her five-year-old son, ultimately saving his life.

According to a coroner’s report, Sandoval was discharged from Royal Columbian Hospital with crutches after being diagnosed with a forehead laceration and soft tissue injuries to her right thigh. Six weeks later, she was admitted to Abbotsford Regional Hospital for various complications, including pain, swelling, blood clots and a bacterial infection.

She died on March 19, 2018, and a post-mortem examination revealed she had numerous blood clots throughout both lungs. Her cause of death was attributed to “multiple complications of blunt force trauma due to a motor vehicle incident.”

Click to play video: 'Mission man charged in parking lot rampage death of B.C. mother' Mission man charged in parking lot rampage death of B.C. mother
Mission man charged in parking lot rampage death of B.C. mother – Feb 16, 2019

Pare has no criminal record and is in treatment for drug addiction, the court heard Monday.

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The Crown is asking for a sentence of between 18 and 24 months in jail, with two years of probation and a five-year driving prohibition. Pare’s attorney’s are asking for a conditional sentence order of two years — less a day — to be served in the community.

“I would like to see some jailtime — not a long time — and rehab and driving prohibitions, because I think he has to pay somehow,” said Tayes. “He has to realize what he’s done.”

Read more: Mission man charged after mother of 4 dies following 2018 Maple Ridge truck rampage

The family’s wounds from the accident are still very fresh, she added, and Sandoval’s husband, Eduardo, has struggled to raise four children alone.

“As one of the victim impact statements said, the family really isn’t a family anymore. It doesn’t function like a family,” she said. “We don’t all get together anymore because Kelly’s husband just can’t bear to be around people … It’s affected his health.”

The family can’t “start living again” until the court process has reached its conclusion, said Tayes. The case has adjourned until April 20 as the judge deliberates a sentence.

— with files from Rumina Daya and Kristen Robinson

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