Driver's parole shocks victim's family

A Port aux Basques woman whose brother died in a 2011 car crash is shocked that the driver is already out on parole.
A Port aux Basques woman is shocked by the parole of the driver whose driving killed her brother, reports Jeremy Eaton 3:04

A woman in Port aux Basques whose brother died in a 2011 car crash is shocked that the driver is already out on parole.

Tyler Hodder was behind the wheel of a van that flipped and ended up in a lake as he was speeding down the Trans-Canada Highway outside Port aux Basques in September 2011.

Tyler Hodder was given a 30-month sentence in May for convictions that included dangerous driving causing death. (CBC)

Devin Parsons, 20, drowned, while his older brother, Kevin, was seriously injured.

Their sister, Savannah Parsons, said the family learned on Christmas Day through a Facebook post that Hodder had been given parole, even though he was given a 30-month sentence in May,

Hodder had been convicted of dangerous driving causing death, as well as dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

"It was about one o'clock Christmas morning [when Kevin saw] Tyler's post saying of his new 'condo' for 180 days," Savannah Parsons told CBC News.

The family did not know that Hodder had been granted day parole in December, nor that the family needed to fill out some forms to be notified of parole board decisions in Hodder's case.

She said the family was shocked by the decision.

"[I] didn’t think that I would have to prepare myself for the possibility of running into Tyler until, like, a year's time," she said.

"I'm completely blindsided. I was not expecting this at all."

Parsons said the family feels that the justice system gives offenders better treatment than victims and their families.

She said her brother Kevin is still not able to work, and has been traumatized by the crash and its aftermath.

"Kevin sees stuff that, in his mind, that I don't want to see. But if you ask him, he would say he was glad that he was in that accident because then Devin didn't die alone," she said.

"[But] he sees Tyler living a happy life basically, because he puts all these posts on Facebook about watching the hockey game, watching the UFC fights."

The family has been in contact with parole officials, and will now be told of anything relating to Hodder's parole until his sentence is completed in 2014.