TRAGIC – A memorial has been set up at the site on Hwy. 11A where Colton Keeler

Lacombe woman charged in crash that killed young man

A young man is dead after a woman, who has been charged with alcohol-related offenses, allegedly hit and killed him on Hwy. 11A over the weekend.

April Gail Beauclair, 29, has been charged with impaired operation causing death, two counts of impaired operation causing bodily harm, two counts of operating a motor vehicle over .08 causing bodily harm and operating a motor vehicle while over .08.

Just after 3:33 a.m. on March 31st, Blackfalds RCMP responded to a report of a two-vehicle collision on Hwy. 11A. The collision location is approximately 8 kms west of the QE II. Once on scene police determined Colton Keeler, 19, of Red Deer had died.

A 17-year-old male of Red Deer, was taken by STARS to Edmonton with serious injuries.

RCMP said the initial investigation has revealed that a vehicle had broken down and was being pushed by hand eastbound on the highway. Both Keeler and the injured male were outside of the vehicle and were struck by an eastbound Ford Focus, which Beauclair was allegedly driving. She received minor injuries in the collision.

Beauclair made her first court appearance in Red Deer provincial court on Monday.

A tribute page has been put up on facebook for Keeler. Friends have began to write messages on the page including, “The amount of pain people are feeling because of this… is immense… but only cause we all have so many great memories of you my brother Colton Keeler, greatest man I’ve ever known R.I.P.”

Others have written, “Rest in peace. I may not have known you personally, but this is yet another example of how horrible drunk driving is.”

This is the second drunk driving accident in recent weeks in Central Alberta. Last month Tyler James Stevens, 29, was charged after allegedly driving his northbound vehicle in the southbound lanes on the QEII Hwy. just south of Innisfail.

Stevens allegedly collided with another vehicle that was carrying five foreign workers from the Philippines. Four of them were killed as a result of that collision.

Stevens is charged with four counts of impaired driving causing death, one count of impaired driving causing bodily harm, four counts of failing to provide a breath sample, four counts of criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle causing death and one count of criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com