NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS1130) – Crown counsel is asking for eight to nine years in prison for Corey Sater. The drunk driver was responsible for the deaths of two women in Coquitlam three years ago.
Seven emotional victim impact statements were made in court Monday morning from the families of Charlene Reaveley and Lorraine Cruz, who were hit while standing at the side of the Lougheed Highway in February 2011 after a separate accident. Cruz’s boyfriend, Paulo Calimbahin, was badly injured by the hit.
Reaveley and her husband Dan along with their two friends Kimberley and Giacomo deBenedictis had been returning home from a night out when they spotted Cruz and Calimbahin’s Nissan Pathfinder lose control and hit the median along Lougheed Highway. The Reaveleys and deBenedictises pulled over to help, Charlene comforting Cruz at the side of the road when the two were hit and killed. Calimbahin was also injured, eventually losing his leg.
In January, a judge found Sater guilty of six charges, including impaired driving causing death and bodily harm.
Crown explained during sentencing Sater didn’t have a license at the time of the crash, and had been banned from alcohol during an earlier probation order. They pointed out evidence presented during the trial that found Sater’s friends told him not to drive after downing six double rye and cokes and two Jagerbombs. Sater apparently was on his way home to get more cash so he could continue drinking.
Crown called his actions morally repugnant, explaining how his friend urged him to call the police, but he instead left his damaged car in the cul-de-sac in front of his girlfriend’s home and walked to a separate location, near where the crash happened, apparently telling friends he had to go say goodbye to his children.
Charlene Reaveley’s mother, Mary Ogilvie, cried as she read her victim impact statement, saying she’s haunted by memories of burying her daughter. “I am a mother now, but I don’t have any child,” says Ogilvie. A sentence of eight years just isn’t enough according to her. “I want 25 years to life. People are getting away with murder–this is murder.”
Sater sat in the defense box rarely looking up, occasionally sighing, “He was making like he was crying, but I don’t know if he was really crying. He’s never showed any remorse at all,” says Ogilvie.
Both the deBenedictis read victim impact statements, Kimberley revealing she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and couldn’t handle seeing Sater at the gas station and local businesses so she and her husband eventually moved to Alberta. Giacomo revealed the incident was so traumatic for him, he can’t remember the good times with Charlene because he’s blocked everything out.
Dan Reaveley had his sister read his victim impact statements comparing losing his wife to losing his sight at 30 years old. The two have four children together who were 10, 6, 4 and 1 at the time of their mother’s death. He has been left struggling to pay the bills and deal with losing his wife while caring for their four children, and only recently returned to work.
Victim impact statements from Paulo Calimbahin and Lorraine Cruz’s mother were read by crown counsel.
Sater’s defense counsel are asking for no more than 3 years, which received upset from the public gallery. Letters of support from friends and family painted Sater as a caring single dad who is haunted by the crash.
The judge could decide on Sater’s sentence on Thursday.