In the Aschenbrenner household, the tree had been lit and stockings have been hung in preparation for Christmas. But the family is missing one vital piece – their mother.
This is the second Christmas Brad and his two young sons will spend without Const. Sarah Beckett, a West Shore RCMP officer who was killed after a drunk driver crashed into her police cruiser in a Vancouver Island intersection in 2016.
“Christmas is always hard,” Aschenbrenner said. “We try and keep it pretty much the same.”
Now, more than a year-and-a-half since the crash, the family has filed a lawsuit against Kenneth Jacob Fenton and is seeking compensation for the financial losses related to Beckett’s death.
Monte Prior of Pearlman, Lindholm Barristers and Solicitors, Aschenbrenner’s lawyer, said the lawsuit was filed on Oct. 10 and is still in the early stages.
Family compensation act lawsuits usually try to replace the financial support that Beckett would have provided to the family and the loss of services she would have provided, said Prior, noting the family is currently in the process of determining what those loses are.
On April 5, 2016, Beckett was travelling east on Goldstream Avenue, just outside of Victoria, after concluding an unrelated investigation. Fenton, who was travelling south on Peatt Road, ran a red light and crashed into her cruiser. Fenton’s blood alcohol level was 3.5 times the legal limit after the crash.
Earlier this year, Fenton pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
Fenton is also facing charges from another crash that occurred in May 2016 on Goldstream Heights Road, including impaired driving causing bodily harm. He is expected to appear in court in June 2018.
While no amount of money will bring Beckett back, Prior said financial compensation will help the family immensely.
“There are two young children facing another Christmas without their mom and a husband without his wife. I think people can imagine how that would feel,” he said.
“Hopefully this will go some ways towards helping with the financial losses that they have, and coping with the increased expenses that they have in trying to replace the wife and mother that they’ve lost.”