The driver responsible for the 2017 crash that killed cyclist Kerry Hawkins and left three other people seriously injured has been handed a $1,750 fine.
A provincial court judge also sentenced Emerson Sutton to a one-year driving ban for the devastating collision, which happened on Vancouver’s SW Marine Drive.
Before sentencing, Hawkins’ friends and family addressed Sutton in court, where they delivered emotional victim impact statements describing the depth of Sutton’s loss.
Elaine Hawkins, Kerry Hawkins’ wife, learned she was pregnant three weeks before the crash.
“We beg the court to go lightly on Mr. Sutton,” Mrs. Hawkins said. “He says he fell asleep after a night of partying, and crashed into my husband without knowing better. Banning him from driving for twelve long months more than makes up for losing the love of my life forever.”
“Our daughter will never know her father, but Mr. Sutton shouldn’t have his freedom to move around taken away from him. That would be unthinkable.”
Hawkins’ mother, Jaqueline McFadden, held a photo of her son as she read her statement.
“It has been 12 months of indescribable anguish for our family. Every time I look at my granddaughter I see my son and my heart breaks knowing that Mr. Sutton could have to pay as much as $2,000 for killing him. He has suffered enough, he even threw up when he heard my son was killed at his hand.”
The Crown had asked for the maximum sentence of a $2,000 fine and six months in jail.
“We are totally fine with this sentence,” said Hawkins’ father, Bobby. “Our son was ripped out of our lives, and for all that pain and suffering Emerson has caused us, not being able to drive for one year is more than enough punishment for him. And then to have to pay $1,750 on top of that? That’s like buying a new laptop, how can you possibly imagine how much he’ll suffer because he’ll have to use an old computer? That’s nowhere near as bad as having your son killed.”
“And thank god he used a car to kill Kerry. Imagine if he’d accidentally shot him with a gun? That would have been terrible, he should be thrown in jail for a long long time if that happened. But killing him with a car? Eh, whatever.”