Saskatoon

Guilty plea entered in drunk-driving death of 25-year-old Sask. woman

This morning, John Koch pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing the death of 25-year-old Danille Kerpan. Kerpan was killed in a 2014 collision on Highway 11.

Victim's father says legislation needs to be strengthened

25-year-old Danille Kerpan was killed by a drunk driver in 2014 near Bladworth, Sask. (Kerpan Family)

A man has pleaded guilty to killing a 25-year-old woman from Kenaston, Sask. while driving drunk.

Thursday morning, John Koch pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death. Danille Kerpan, 25, was killed in a 2014 collision with Koch on Highway 11.

Kerpan's father, Allan, said the entire process has been extremely difficult for the family. 

"We had our sweet daughter stolen from us, because of this crash," he said. "But I can't allow myself to spend my energy on anger or the court case. I need to focus on working on a different area of this issue."

Socially, it's becoming unacceptable to drive drunk. But I think in rural Saskatchewan, that's not the case yet.- Allan Kerpan, father of Danille

Allan is a former Reform Party MP and Saskatchewan Party MLA, and has become an advocate for strengthening laws that target drunk drivers.

"The people who are in my cross-hairs are habitual offenders," he said.

"People who have been convicted of impaired driving three, five, up to ten times, and they're still driving. And I want somebody, somewhere, to tell me why that should be."

While Allan said strides are being made in some areas, drivers in rural Saskatchewan don't seem to be getting the message.

"The urban areas are doing better, in some ways," said Kerpan. "Socially, it's becoming unacceptable to drive drunk. But I think in rural Saskatchewan, that's not the case yet."

Allan said he would like to see random stop checks for drivers. Groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada claim the practice, which gives police the ability to stop random vehicles and perform sobriety tests, has dramatically decreased the amount of roadside fatalities.

A sentencing hearing for John Koch will be held later this month.

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