Victim impact statements reflect kind-hearted nature of slain teen: MADD

Sentencing continued Thursday for an Alberta driver who was high on meth when he hit and killed a teenager in St. Andrews, Man.

Ben Harris, 15, was struck while riding his bike with a friend along Donald Road near Hwy. 9 in August 2018, when a stolen truck veered off the road.

The man behind the wheel, 29-year-old Justin Little from Calgary, pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death, and leaving the scene of an accident.

READ MORE: Calgary driver involved in hit-and-run that killed Selkirk teen in court Tuesday

On Wednesday, the victim’s family gave their statements at the hearing, and Trevor Ens of anti-impaired driving advocacy group MADD Canada was in the courtroom.

“Yesterday was about Ben. It was about honouring him, remembering him,” Ens told 680 CJOB.

“Ben was a beautiful young man. He touched so many lives, he was really kind-hearted. That really came through with everyone who spoke yesterday.

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“With the more than 80 victim impact statements and the almost 20 people who came forward with the amount of courage to read them, it truly speaks to his memory.”

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The Crown is asking for a six-year sentence for the charge of impaired driving causing death, and an additional year for leaving the scene of an accident.

READ MORE: Funeral held for 15-year-old killed after hit-and-run near Selkirk

Police had to use tracking dogs to find the suspect – who jumped out of the truck and took off on foot – after the crash.

Ens said the sentence requested by the Crown is low compared to other provinces.

“If we look to the east in Ontario, six years would be on the low end. I’d expect, for them, we’d be looking at 6-10 years for something like this.”

Parents of Selkirk teen killed in hit-and-run ‘tortured’ by tragedy
Parents of Selkirk teen killed in hit-and-run ‘tortured’ by tragedy

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