Kathy Horsman

Kathy Horsman, a Moncton teacher and mother of two, was killed in a head-on crash in Moncton on April 17. (Courtesy of Ferguson Knowles Funeral Home)

A Lakeville man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and banned from driving for life in connection with a fatal drunk driving collision in Moncton last spring.

Boyd Reginald Atkinson, 42, who previously pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm, was sentenced on Thursday.

Crown prosecutor Stephen Holt believes it is one of the strictest sentences handed down in New Brunswick for such crimes.

Kathy Horsman, a 36-year-old Moncton school teacher and single mother of two from Berry Mills, was killed in a head-on collision on Killam Drive on April 17.

Atkinson was highly intoxicated that night, had been travelling at a dangerously high rate of speed and was driving with a suspended licence, the court was told.

He crossed more than two lanes of traffic before hitting Horsman's vehicle head-on, the Crown said.

'Catastrophic event'

Several of Horsman's relatives read victim impact statements aloud in provincial court and cried as they talked about how her 16-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son have been affected.

Her sister Cindy Shillington asked, "What would a cab have cost?"

Atkinson had four previous alcohol-related offences and had been through an alcohol recovery program, the court was told.

He apologized to Horsman's family, but Judge James McNamee said that was "cold comfort."

The judge called the fatal crash a "catastrophic event" and said a message must be delivered to the public about the serious consequences of drinking and driving.

He did, however, give Atkinson credit for the time he has already spent in custody, reducing his sentence to nine years and five months.

Atkinson showed little emotion as the judge sentenced him.

Impaired driving causing death carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The charge of impaired driving causing bodily harm is related to a passenger in Atkinson's car.