A Calgary man who pleaded guilty to a fatal crash that killed a taxi driver and his fare has been sentenced.
Amritpal Kharbanda and his passenger, 25-year-old Jillian Lavallee were killed when an SUV ran a red light on 12 Avenue S.E. in May 2015.
In court on Friday, the driver, Ali Montoya, was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison.
Montoya was initially charged with impaired driving causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm.
He later pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
The sentence comes amid an ongoing debate over the need for harsher sentences to curb drinking and driving.
Montoya’s defense lawyer Alain Hepner said at court he doesn’t think stiffer penalties will bring about major changes.
“The statistics don’t support that, you know, I mean to give someone five years, or seven years, or ten years would not reduce the amount of drinking and driving on the street,” Hepner said.
Lavallee’s father says more needs to be done at the government level to prevent it.
“Doesn’t change our lives at all, doesn’t change our loss. Where it needs to happen is more in the parliament and having laws put in place that actually physically prevent people from driving if you’re drinking,” Dan Lavallee said in court on Friday.
The Lavallee family has created a scholarship in their daughter’s name, which was handed out in August.