Drunk driving sentence appealed

Alberta Justice looks for harsher sentence in Chad Olsen case

The sentence handed to down to a convicted drunk driver has been appealed by the Alberta Justice Department.

Chad Olsen, 24, received a two-year sentence in April after he pleaded guilty last November to two counts of impaired driving causing death.

Yesterday, the Alberta Court of Appeal heard arguments from Alberta Justice prosecutor Brian Graff of Edmonton and defence lawyer Joan Blumer of Calgary, who represented Olsen.

Josh Stewart, spokesperson with Alberta Justice said it’s not known whether the panel will make an immediate decision or whether they will make the decision at a later date.

A decision had not been reached by the three-person panel at press time yesterday.

Brad and Krista Howe were killed on Feb. 7, 2010 at about 2 a.m. after the truck that Olsen was driving slammed into them at the intersection of Ironstone Dr. and 30 Ave. Brad and Krista were pronounced dead on the scene and Olsen was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. His blood alcohol level was found to have been three times over the legal limit.

RCMP investigation determined that Olsen ran a red light and was going at least 85 km/hr on 30th Ave. which has a posted speed limit of 60 km/hr.

Krista, 35, was an engineer at MEGlobal Canada Inc., at Prentiss and Brad, 34, was an engineer at Nova Chemicals in Joffre. They left behind five children who ranged in age from six to 15.

During Olsen’s sentencing hearing in April, Crown prosecutor Charlotte Oxford, who asked for a sentence of 3.5 years in jail, also detailed Olsen’s extensive driving record.

From 2005-2010, Olsen received nine speeding tickets as well as multiple other tickets including a ticket for an alcohol related suspension in December of 2008 and a number of tickets for failing to stop, failing to obey traffic control, crossing a double solid line, driving left of centre and driving while unauthorized.

After the judge handed down Olsen’s two-year sentence, Sandra Green, mother of Krista expressed her disappointment.

“It’s a huge insult. Two people, two years and three months. There’s not balance, there’s no justice. It’s not right at all,” she said in April. “Our sentence is for life and it was dictated by Chad Olsen whose sentence is two years and three months. Most likely he’ll be out before the year is up.”

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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