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Crown seeks 5 years for Sherwood Park man guilty of impaired driving causing death

The Crown is seeking five years in jail for a Sherwood Park man guilty of impaired driving causing death in an August 2022 collision that left an Edmonton couple dead.

Victim impact statements were heard in an Edmonton courtroom on Friday during a sentencing hearing for Taylor Yaremchuk.

Yaremchuk pleaded guilty in September 2023 to two counts of impaired driving causing death for his role in an Aug. 14, 2022 collision that killed Jim Macdonald, 68, and Annie Macdonald, 63.

The court previously heard that Yaremchuk admitted to drinking alcohol at the Belvedere Golf and Country Club on the morning of Aug. 14, 2022, and then leaving in his own vehicle. Around noon, Yaremchuk crossed the centre line of Highway 628 and collided head-on with the motorcycle the Macdonalds were riding. The motorcycle caught fire and Jim and Annie died at the scene.

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It was an emotional day in court on Friday, as victim impact statements were read by the Crown and Macdonalds’ loved ones in person.

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Daughter Breigh Cohen shared the immense grief and trauma her family has endured since the crash.

“My family’s life was shattered. The phone call I received that night would forever change my world,” Cohen said. “All of this was completely preventable.

“I will not heal from this loss. It is too great a loss to heal.”

Others also shared their grief and spoke of how much the couple meant to them.

Yaremchuk addressed the court as well.

“There’s nothing I can do or say to alleviate the pain,” Yaremchuk said. “I made an unforgivable mistake.”

The defence said he has not touched alcohol since the incident.

The Macdonalds were born and raised in Edmonton. Jim worked at MacEwan University, while Annie worked for the provincial government.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton couple killed in motorcycle crash honoured by family'

Edmonton couple killed in motorcycle crash honoured by family

Both Jim and Annie were very active, according to their family, and passionate about skiing and riding their bicycles.

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The couple had three children and seven grandchildren.

The Crown is seeking a five-year sentence for Yaremchuk, as well as restitution. If restitution is paid, the defence is seeking a sentence of three to four years. Without restitution, the defence is asking for a sentence of four to five years.

Yaremchuk remains in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 27.

— with files from Jasmine King, Global News

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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