Nelson singer Pat Henman and her daughter Maia Vezina plan to be in court when the drunk driver who hit them in a head-on collision is sentenced in December.

Woman pleads guilty to impaired driving

Head-on crash survivors Pat Henman and Maia Vezina plan to be present for sentencing in December.

Shara Bakos, the driver who collided head-on with Nelson singer Pat Henman’s car over a year ago, nearly killing her and her daughter, pleaded guilty on September 8 to impaired driving causing bodily harm and driving without a license.

“I had a big `ah’. It was a shock, but also a relief. It was a very emotional moment,” said Henman, who learned the news via email from the Crown prosecutor.

She said the case has been proceeding slowly, but she’s heartened by the latest development. She plans to be present, along with her daughter Maia Vezina, when Bakos is sentenced in Cranbrook on December 8.

“There’s no vindication. People have to be accountable for their actions, that’s one thing I feel. I really want her off the road forever. This person, this is her second conviction within a year for drunk driving. She obviously has a serious illness. She has to be taken off the road and get help,” she said.

Henman said Bakos had previously missed some court dates, and she was starting to become concerned that the case wouldn’t proceed.

“The first thing was for 11 months the Crown didn’t do anything about it. That’s how long it took them to even serve her. I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but I was so concerned I called Michelle Mungall’s office. Michelle got in touch with the Crown and within three days we heard back,” she said.

Henman said her physical recovery from the accident, which put her into a coma and resulted in her losing 21 feet of intestine, has been slow.

“We’re quite lucky we didn’t lose our lives. But it will never be over. There is no way when you lose parts of your body. Things will continue to improve, hopefully, and you have to learn to live with what you have. I’m just grateful to be here.”

Henman must be hooked up to a total parenteral nutrition bag for 14 hours a day, and she sleeps with it. It ensures that she’s receiving the proper nutrition, because she can’t consume and process normal food.

“For eight months I didn’t eat. I’m eating again, but it’s a slow process,” she said, noting that she would be lost without her husband Larry.

“He’s a part of this. He physically may not have been in the car, but emotionally he’s gone through everything with us. He’s my caregiver, he’s been with both of us, he’s there for Maia 24 hours a day. If she needs him, he’ll be in Alberta. He’s the foundation,” she said.

“We have some good cries together.”

Vezina, who is now back at school at the University of Calgary studying English and Education, said she hasn’t decided for sure whether she wants to be at Bakos’ sentencing.

“I’m really happy that we’re seeing justice. She’s going to learn from her mistakes from doing time or having some consequence.”

Henman said it’s important to her to be present when Bakos is sentenced, as she has yet to see her in person.

“This will be the first time I’ll be seeing her. I do want her to see us and know it’s real. I think that will hopefully help her. She’ll see these people, us, and she’ll see that her actions have touched their lives.”

She said she’s inspired by her daughter’s resilience, and thrilled that she’s continuing to pursue her dream of being a teacher.

“Maia is the bravest most determined woman I know. She is my hero. Everyday she struggles with pain but her beautiful smile continues to shine. I want people to know that.”

Henman, meanwhile, has started to sing again.

“When I was first coming out of my coma, the first song I ended up listening to when I could was Steve Perry, from Journey. He was the first singer I was able to listen and enjoy. I can’t hit those notes that he hits, but I try to sing along with Steve,” she said.

“A year ago I was laying in that bed in Kootenay Lake Hospital thinking at least I’m in my hometown. Now I’m living in my house, I’m walking and talking and trying to sing again. I can’t imagine anybody who would want to sit at home or lay in bed and not want to get better.”

Henman remains optimistic.

“Time is a wonderful healer,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Nelson climate change strike set for Sept. 20

The strike marks the start of a week of related events

October is Plastic Free Month in Nelson

City will examine its own plastic use and encourage public to do the same

Fundraiser set for Fastlane to Paradise

The new local show’s fundraiser is Sept. 21 at Finley’s

VIDEO: Grad classes separated by 65 years find shared hopes, fears

The Nelson High School class of 1954 met with current L.V. Rogers Grade 12 students

Woman held at gunpoint during carjacking in UBC parkade

University RCMP say the vehicle is still missing, and two suspects are at large

VIDEO: Angry B.C. cyclist starts shaming dangerous drivers online

‘You motorists deserve all your costs and misery’

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

B.C. population on pace to fall behind Alberta

Provincial population could reach almost seven million in 2043, but Alberta is growing faster

Most Read