'Heartbreak, fear and loss': Regina man gets prison time for drunk driving crash that killed young father

A 20-year-old Regina man has received a three-year prison sentence for the drunk driving crash that killed a 37-year-old husband and father of two.

Colby Heid pleads guilty, receives 3-year sentence in death of Tanner Kaufmann

This family photo was taken on Sept. 3, 2016, the day before Tanner Kaufmann died. (submitted by Alyscia Kaufmann)
The widow of a drunk driving victim told the man behind the wheel that she wants "the day Tanner Brent Kaufmann's life was stolen by your preventable act to be forever burned into your mind as the day many lives were stolen."
Colby Heid, 20, pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death.

On Tuesday, Colby Nicholas Heid, 20,  pleaded guilty to driving over .08 in a Regina courtroom. A judge then accepted the joint submission and sentenced Heid to three years at a federal prison. He was also handed a five-year driving prohibition. 

On Sept. 4, 2016, Heid hit 37-year-old Kaufmann on a rural road north of Regina. Kaufmann was killed, as was his puppy, Macy.

At the hearing, the Crown went over the evidence which included Heid telling police he had over 25 drinks that day. Heid's blood test — which was done three hours after the crash — showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.293. 

Evidence also showed Kaufmann was hit at 80 kilometres per hour and Heid did not apply the brakes.

The first person on scene said Heid was "considerably intoxicated" and a paramedic told hospital staff he was hitting on them. 

The defence addressed the courtroom, saying Heid has taken responsibility for his actions and has abstained from alcohol and drugs. He had also been working full-time and gone through counseling.

"Everyday I think about the great man I unfairly took away," Heid told the court.

Kaufmann's wife, Alyscia, and 13 other friends and family submitted their victim impact statements in court during Tuesday's sentencing.

In her own words

"Although, you [Heid] have been the cause of our sadness and pain, I still hope that you never experience such loss. It is a loss one never truly recovers from," Alyscia said in her statement, which she shared with CBC News.

Alyscia Kaufmann says the loss of her husband is like 'the sensation of swallowing swords.' (submitted by Alyscia Kaufmann)

"I want you to leave here today and remember that these people, and especially our two little boys, are no longer the people they were."

Tanner left behind a seven-year-old and five-year-old son.

Alyscia said the boys have difficulty sleeping, among facing the other challenges of suddenly losing their father, friend, mentor, coach and playmate.

"It is not fair that our boys must endure such heartbreak, fear and loss," she said.

She also described the pain of being a widow.

"It feels like a piece of yourself is missing. You do not feel whole. You feel a pull in your soul reaching to touch and be with your other half. It is a pain in your heart and in your chest that will not go away. It is the sensation of swallowing swords."

In closing, she shared her thoughts of what Heid should do going forward.

"I want you to think about how you are going to tell your future wife and children that you have killed a husband and a father," she said.

"You will leave jail a young man. You have the choice to become a good person who makes right decisions. I hope you take this opportunity."

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About the Author

Adam Hunter


Adam Hunter is the provincial affairs reporter at CBC Saskatchewan, based in Regina. He has been with CBC for 13 years. He hosts the CBC podcast On the Ledge. Follow him on Twitter @AHiddyCBC. Contact him: