Calgary

'You took away my soulmate,' friend of teen killed by father's drunk driving says at sentencing hearing

A sentencing hearing is under way in Calgary for a father who killed his own daughter in a drunk driving crash.

Meghan Bomford, 17, died after she was thrown from her father's Jeep in 2016

Meghan Bomford, 17, was killed in a rollover on McKnight Boulevard N.E. in October 2016. Her father, Shaun Bomford, was driving the 2002 Jeep Liberty that spun out of control, crossed the median and then rolled. (Facebook)

Family and friends of a Calgary teen who was killed by her own father in a drunk driving crash shared their pain in court Tuesday over losing the young woman who was passionate about ringette and had a bubbly personality.

Michael Shaun Bomford was found guilty in January of drunk driving causing death and bodily harm, as well as dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm, in the 2016 crash.

Meghan Bomford, 17, died after she was thrown from her father's Jeep on McKnight Boulevard in October of that year.

Meghan's best friend, Kelsey Nelson, was also thrown from the vehicle. She survived but suffered a serious brain injury.

"You took away my soulmate," Nelson said during her victim impact statement on Tuesday. 

The now 20-year-old, who was 16 at the time of the crash, said she doesn't remember the drive itself.

Since the crash, she's undergone three brain surgeries. She broke her neck, back and facial bones, ruptured her eardrums, punctured a lung and spent 63 days in hospital. Now she has a permanent brain injury, impacting her cognitive skills, problem-solving, memory and language. She's missing an inch of her skull.

"For the rest of my life, I will pay for the consequence of your actions," she said. 

"I keep telling myself that Meghan is coming back, that she is just on a long holiday."

'I will never forgive him'

Meghan Bomford's aunt, Heather Cooper, said she is still filled with anger over that day.

"I will never forgive him for what he's taken from us — ever. I won't. This wasn't an accident, this could have been prevented. Don't drink and drive. Don't," she said. 

Bomford has been out on bail since the trial ended in January.

He addressed the court, breaking down in tears at points as he spoke. 

"Every day I wish things had gone differently. I wish I could trade my life for Meghan's and [for] Kelsey's injuries," he said.

During the trial, evidence was presented that Bomford was drunk at the time of the crash with a blood-alcohol limit three times the legal limit.

Accident reconstructionists showed that the Jeep was travelling more than 30 km/h above the speed limit when Bomford lost control.

"I can only imagine this is somewhat what hell is like," Bomford told the courtroom. "I wish things were different. I'm sorry … that's all I can say."

The Crown is asking for Bomford to serve seven years, while the defence has asked for five. 

The judge will decide on a sentence in early September.

With files from Colleen Underwood

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