Canada

Inquiry begins into fatal police crash

The girl-friend of a Calgary police officer, who died in a drunk driving accident last year, has testified she was not the designated driver the night he crashed into another car killing himself and two others. Constable Brian Hanson was speeding and driving the wrong way down a highway when he crashed into another car in June. 1999.Hanson was off-duty at the time and was coming home from a barbeque hosted by a senior police officer. A fatality inquiry began on Monday to determine the exact circumstances leading up to the accident. Laurelie Jackson testified that reports that she was the designated driver were fabricated. Jackson also testified that there was no discussion at the party about whether they should drive home or about the danger of drinking and driving. Tests showed that Hanson, 43, had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. The occupants of the other car were 20-year-old Gareth Hackett and his girl-friend 17-year-old Amy Kauffeldt. They were both killed. Amy's father, Wayne Kauffeldt says the families want to know more about how much alcohol the police officer drank before he got behind the wheel. "How could this amount of alcohol be consumed without anyone seeing any of those effects?," says Kauffeldt. "What sort of standards should police officers be held to, whether they are on duty or off?." "Both my wife and I very much do not want the two innocent children, and they were children, to be forgotten in all of this," says Kauffeldt.The inquiry runs all week and is then expected to be adjourned until the fall.

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