Families get glimpse at impaired driving accused
The families of three young men killed by a suspected drunk driver in November saw the accused for the first time in court on Thursday.
Jonathan Pratt, 28, is charged with three counts each of impaired driving causing death, driving with a blood-alcohol content over .08 causing death and manslaughter in the deaths of Bradley Arsenault, 18, Thaddeus Lake, 22, and Kole Novak, 18.
Pratt made his first appearance in Leduc provincial court Thursday by video conference. Pratt is in a wheelchair due to the injuries he suffered in the crash and is in custody in Edmonton.
Arsenault, Novak and Lake were killed on Nov. 26 when the car they were in rolled on Highway 625 south of Beaumont after it was struck by a pickup truck driven by Pratt.
The victims' families went to court on Thursday to see the visibly injured Pratt, who only appeared on the screen for a minute.
"Our world was ripped from us, the three boys. Nothing will ever help," said Arsenault's mother, Sheri.
Novak's father Zane told reporters he wants people to realize the effects of impaired driving.
"How it destroys lives, tears families apart, and kills people, as it killed Cole, Brad and Thaddeus," Novak said.
"We want people to realize the necessity to not drink and drive ... the second thing is, if it does happen, we need to make sure that the sentences and the penalties and the punishment match the crime."
Pratt is to enter a plea on the charges in February.