The mother of one of two victims of a 2010 car crash is delighted that B.C.'s Criminal Justice Branch will appeal a driver's acquittal on two charges of dangerous driving causing death.
"That is what we've been working for," Debbie Dyer said on Monday following the announcement of the appeal. "There was so much outcry."
Beckie Dyer, 19, and her 21-year-old boyfriend, John De Oliveira, were killed in a twovehicle crash, and 26-year-old Andelina Hecimovic was charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
But Hecimovic was acquitted, and Crown counsel announced Monday that they will appeal the ruling.
"I don't want them to die in vain," said Dyer, describing her deceased daughter as "an amazing kid."
"What if someone else did exactly the same thing, and used this case as a precedent to get off?" The Crown is asking B.C.'s Court of Appeal to review both the not-guilty verdict for Hecimovic and a two-year sentence for robbery handed to Douglas McPherson.
The crash victims' families organized a letterwriting campaign to the federal and provincial justice ministers in hopes the verdict would be appealed.
The two families added multimedia aspects to their request for an appeal, videotaping grieving mothers Dyer and Audrey De Oliveira reading their victim-impact statements at the Maple Ridge Cemetery where their children are buried.
"We made a YouTube video, and we had petitions and I'm getting really good at letter-writing," said Dyer.
"My daughter had Gandhi's quote, 'You must be the change you want to see in the world' on her bedroom wall, and I'm going to take over what she was trying to do for people."
In the McPherson case, the Criminal Justice Branch asked for an appeal of the robbery sentence, "taking into account the nature of the offence, the background of the offender and the need to protect the public."
- Ian Austin is a reporter with The Province
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