The family of a man who died from an alleged drunk-driving crash on New Year's Day spoke out publicly today.
Francis Pesa, 20, succumbed to injuries Jan. 6 after the crash on Métis Trail.
"Our beloved son, brother and friend, Francis Pesa, lost a hard-fought battle for his life," said family spokesperson Reese Reyes as his parents, three brothers and girlfriend wiped away tears.
He suffered massive injuries from the crash, which led to internal bleeding, failed organs and broken bones.
Pesa had just arrived home from the Philippines two hours earlier.
His father lost 41 members of his family in Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the country in November.
The entire family had decided to travel to the Philippines after gathering supplies and medication to help people whose homes were destroyed and to say goodbye to lost family members.
"That's just another complex layer of the tragedy this family is going through," said Reyes.
It was the first time they had gone to the Philippines since coming to Canada.
His family said Pesa loved to cook, sew and take care of his three brothers.
"We pray his death and suffering will not be in vain, and hope there will be justice in the future," said Reyes.
The 36-year-old driver of the vehicle that hit Pesa's car is charged with impaired driving causing injury.
The charges may be upgraded to impaired driving causing death.