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Family of Winnipeg woman killed by drunk driver frustrated by decision not to charge man who gave him keys

The parents of a 24-year-old Winnipeg woman who was killed in a hit and run by a drunk driver say they’re frustrated after Manitoba’s justice minister agreed with a decision not to lay charges against the man who gave the driver the keys.

Karen and Doug Reimer were told by Justice Minister Matt Wiebe on Thursday the province will be following recommendations by Crown prosecutors not to proceed with charges.

Their daughter, Jordyn Reimer, was killed in the early hours of May 1, 2022, in a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Bond Street and Kildare Avenue while she was on her way to pick up a friend. She was 24.

Late last year, Tyler Scott Goodman was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to impaired driving and failing to stop at the scene.

A woman smiles while posing for a photo.
Jordyn Reimer, 24, was killed May 1, 2022, in a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Bond Street and Kildare Avenue W. in a crash involving an impaired driver. (Jordyn Reimer/Facebook)

Court heard that as Goodman was about to leave a bar, where he had consumed nine or 10 drinks, a woman confronted him and grabbed the jacket where he kept his keys, but one of Goodman’s friends told her he was not drunk and took the keys back. 

Goodman ran two stop signs before hitting the driver’s side of Reimer’s SUV, court heard. He was going more than 100 km/h at the time of the collision.

Goodman and the three passengers in his vehicle then left the accident scene on foot, court heard.

Jordyn’s parents pleaded for charges against Goodman’s friend, who was one of the passengers, but the Manitoba Prosecution Service found after a review the standards to charge the man weren’t met, and there was “no reported case law” where criminal liability was found in similar circumstances.

“The prosecutors should not be acting as judge and jury and doing what should happen when we get to court,” Karen Reimer said.

“That’s up to a judge and/or a jury to decide. Certainly there has to be sufficient enough evidence to get there.”

Minister Wiebe said Thursday that in his multiple meetings with the family, he’s always been clear his government would thoroughly look into the matter, but that the Crown’s decision followed an impartial review, and was “supported by the facts and supported by the circumstances of the case.”

He also noted prosecutors did pursue charges against Goodman’s mother, Laurie Lynn Goodman, who pleaded guilty to a charge of obstruction of justice for giving misleading information to police after the crash. She was given a six-month conditional sentence.

Wiebe said following the tragedy, the NDP government will work to toughen impaired driving legislation in Manitoba.

But Reimer’s family said they’re disappointed.

“We thought the justice minister … would be able to help us,” Karen said.

The passenger “is as equally culpable and responsible for Jordyn’s death as Goodman is in our mind, and he should be held accountable and be found guilty for his crime. It’s a crime.”

The family said they’re going to request a meeting with Premier Wab Kinew to discuss the decision and “keep trying to be heard,” but added that there is no formal process to continue to appeal it.

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