Inside an Edmonton courtroom Friday, the family of a N.W.T. man killed in 2011 embraced and forgave the woman who ended his life.
Jonathan Andre, 31, was struck by a white Honda Civic just before midnight as he was crossing 118th Avenue and 42nd Street in the northeast part of the city. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
At the time of his death, Andre's blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit.
Nicole Reid, 26, was originally charged with dangerous driving while street racing causing death but later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of careless driving.
Today, she was sentenced to pay a $2,000 fine. She told the courtroom she will never drive again.
Before her sentence was read, Reid apologized to the family. After Judge Michael Allen left the courtroom, Andre’s sister Jayda Andre and her mother approached Reid to forgive her.
A second tragedy for family
Although originally one of three, Jayda Andre is now the only surviving sibling in the family. Her older sister Joni was murdered in 2004.
On Friday, she told the judge "Sometimes I wish it was me who died – not two of my siblings. Just me."
Speaking outside the courtroom, Jayda said it was her brother that inspired her to forgive Reid.
“My brother would do the same,” she said. “This is what he would want. My brother forgave the person that murdered my sister – and if he could do something like that, anyone could. It’s life – so hard.”
A professional boxer at the time of his death, Andre had turned his life around, his sister said.
Andre started his athletic career at the Cougar Boxing Club in 2006. He was in Edmonton training as a junior middleweight boxing champion when he died.
“He struggled with addictions, he changed his life completely around and everyone watched him succeed. He never gave up.”
And that determination is now inspiring others in his home community of Fort McPherson, N.W.T., where posters of Andre have been put up around town and in the school where his sister works.
“When you come into our school, you will see photos and biographies,” she said. “So much pride. It’s just something so good to see, that I can say ‘that’s my brother.’”
Click below to hear Jayda describe how the news of her brother's death impacted one small boy in the community.