My son was hit and killed by a drunk driver-her sentence did not reflect the price our family paid

This first-person article is the experience of Brenda Simmons, a resident of Belfast and PEI, and the mother of Jacob and Janna Simmons.For more information about CBC’s first-person story, see common problem.

One year ago today, our beloved 27-year-old son Jacob was hit and killed by a drunk driver while riding a bicycle on a beautiful Friday afternoon.

The 44-year-old woman hit him from behind, threw his 6-foot-7-inch, 200-pound body onto the sidewalk 61 meters from the impact point, and drove away without stopping to try to help or call 911.

The RCMP spotted her in the lane of a small road a few kilometers away.

Jacob, an avid runner, in a race in Galway, Ireland. (Submitted by Brenda Simmons)

Her blood alcohol content is more than twice the legal limit. She admitted that she drank 13 glasses of wine that day and was on her way to dinner at her boyfriend’s house. He told her that because she had been drinking, he would pay for a taxi.

Life imprisonment for our family

She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison. Criminals who died as a result of drunk driving are eligible for parole after serving one-third of their sentence, so even if you kill, you may be released in 1.5 years or less. The sentence against our family is life.

“Bad driving leads to death” sounds so boring. If someone gets drunk and beats a complete stranger to death with a baseball bat, we will all be frightened.

However, drink alcohol and choose a 4,000-pound weapon (car) instead of a bat, hit someone violently from behind, causing him to suffer fatal blunt injuries to his head, neck, chest, and abdomen. Plead guilty and you will immediately Get out. Imagine using a bat instead of a car to do this to a person.

People may even sympathize with the driver because they killed a complete stranger before arriving at the destination that day, which is just a coincidence or bad luck.

After all, they didn’t go far…

In 2019, PEI Roadrunners named Jacob the best male runner of the year. (PEI Roadrunners)

There is a problem with this photo

What’s wrong with this picture?Why is the incidence of drunk driving high So high In our beautiful province with low crime rate? Why is the death of our son so low in the Canadian judicial system?

My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer in mid-April 2020 and was fighting it with aggressive chemotherapy, but then Jacob was killed.

Jacob and his father Kevin were filmed on the north coast of Ireland in August 2019. Kevin died of pancreatic cancer six weeks after Jacob was killed. (Submitted by Brenda Simmons)

With the help of these treatments, my husband should live longer, but he died six weeks after Jacob’s death. The last few weeks of his life-his last Father’s Day, his last birthday-were filled with incredible emotional pain and loss beyond cancer.

The remaining quality of his life was destroyed by the impaired driver, but it didn’t seem to matter.

So much hurt so much

I had to recognize Jacob’s body in the morgue late at night when he died, and I still saw the damage to him and his wide eyes when I tried to fall asleep. He still wears his new bicycle helmet.

Jacob chose to become an organ donor a few years ago, but we were unable to donate his organs because he had to be sent to Nova Scotia for an autopsy to support the allegations. According to the autopsy report, all his training and health conditions and very healthy organs were wasted.

Jacob is a chess player who participated in the Canadian Chess Challenge in Edmonton in 2008 and Toronto in 2009. He is a member of the PEI team. (PEI Youth Chess Association/Facebook)

Drivers, first responders, police and paramedics in the area must see the consequences, but the driver did not see it because she left the scene.

Inflicted so much harm on so many people, but imprisonment does not reflect these costs.

Get some benefits from this meaningless loss

My husband wants to set up a scholarship fund in Jacob’s name so that he will not be forgotten. Such a meaningless loss will bring some benefits.

So far, we have received strong support for the fund. The first scholarship of US$2,500 will be awarded to a graduating student from Prince Edward Island High School who has common hobbies and interests with Jacob.

Photo of Jacob’s class. A scholarship was established in his name and awarded to students with similar enthusiasm and interests to Jacobs. (Submitted by Brenda Simmons)

The 71 brightest fresh graduates from the island applied, and upon request, each applicant provided two suggestions to help reduce or eliminate drinking and driving in our province.

These applications are instructive to read, and my daughter and I will compile these suggestions and share them with those who can help make changes, such as MADD, elected officials, police, and others.

Do not drink and drive

Please don’t drive.

If you see a driver who is suspected of having a handicap, please call 911.

Help take away the “baseball bat” from his or her hand, maybe you will save the life of the child waiting for the bus or the mother who takes the child to the beach or a healthy and strong young man, and there are more lives to live and give , Just like our son Jacob.

This is a crime of homicide, and politicians have the ability to strengthen the law to better reflect this. Let them know you care.

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