A Cochrane mother is calling for harsher punishment for impaired drivers after the death of her son on a southern Alberta highway last December.

Kim Thomas says she’s still haunted by the absence of her 17-year-old son Brandon, who died after his Subaru was hit by a pickup truck on Highway 22 on Dec. 6.

"There's just nothing without Brandon — there's just nothing," Thomas said.

Brandon’s sister Kayla Thomas said the death of her brother was preventable.

"There will never be peace… Brandon was 17," Kayla said. "He had his whole life in front of him."

Police said the truck sideswiped two oncoming vehicles before hitting Thomas' Subaru head on. One of the other vehicles rolled several times, sending a female passenger to hospital.

The 22-year-old man accused in Brandon’s death faces six charges, including impaired driving causing death.

Support group fights for change

The Thomas family is joining a national support group called Families For Justice.

They want the Criminal Code of Canada to redefine the offence of impaired driving causing death by changing it to vehicular manslaughter.

Brandon’s mother said the court process also needs to speed up.

"There will be no closure, but to know the person who did this wakes up with his parents — it kills me," she said.

A preliminary court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2014, which is exactly 13 months to the day after Brandon died.