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Parents of Winnipeg woman killed by impaired driver say their concerns aren’t being heard

The parents of a young Winnipeg woman who was killed by an impaired driver two years ago say they feel their concerns aren’t being heard by the province.

Jordyn Reimer, 24, was killed by an impaired driver at the intersection of Kildare Avenue West and Bond Street in Transcona in the early morning hours of May 1, 2022. Reimer was a designated driver that night.

“I can’t believe it’s been two years and it feels like yesterday,” Doug Reimer, Jordyn’s father, told Global News. “Because every day I think about her. Everywhere. All the time.”

Photos of Jordyn Reimer sit on a table in her father’s home. Jordyn was killed by an impaired driver in 2022. Josh Arason / Global News

During a trial last fall for the driver, Tyler Scott Goodman, the court heard Goodman had blown through two stop signs before hitting Reimer’s vehicle at a speed of 108 km/h in a 50 km/h zone. The court also heard that a friend had taken Goodman’s keys away from him earlier that night, but a passenger in his vehicle had retrieved them and given them back to Goodman. Karen and Doug Reimer, Jordyn’s parents, want that passenger held accountable.

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“Our request is to review the decision to not prosecute the drinking buddy, and we feel strongly that the evidence is there that he is criminally culpable and it led to Jordyn’s death. It set the whole travesty in motion,” Karen told Global News. “And so we do not agree with the decision not to prosecute.”

Doug and Karen Reimer are calling for an independent, third-party review of the decision not to prosecute a passenger in the vehicle who returned the keys to the driver, leading to a crash that took the life of their daughter, Jordyn. Josh Arason / Global News

The Reimers say they have put the request for an independent, third-party review to Justice Minister Matt Wiebe and met with the minister on March 4.

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“We want someone else to come in and review the evidence, review what the charging standards are — which we believe have been met, that there is sufficient evidence, that there is a likelihood of conviction, and that it is in the best interest of the public,” Karen said.

“We want this really for two reasons: our personal short-term goal is to get the justice for Jordyn that she deserves, and our long-term goal is to help save other people’s lives so they don’t have to live the nightmare that we’re living.”

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Karen and Doug say they were told they would have a followup meeting with the minister after their meeting in March. But nearly three months later, they say their emails and calls have not been responded to.

“We’re trying to follow the rules, but is there a hidden rule that says if you wait long enough families will give up and go away? Because that’s not a rule we plan to follow,” Karen said.

“That’s not acceptable to (think) that we’re going to just get tired and give up,” Doug added. “It’s too important an issue. We’re not just going to give up.”

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Karen says their grief is also magnified by frustration.

“Every day is a struggle, but for anybody that loses a loved one in any way, the grief is horrible but I think there’s an added level of trauma when we feel we’re fighting and fighting for Jordyn,” she said. “She’s not here to fight for herself. We’re fighting for what is basically the right, moral thing to do.”

In an emailed statement to Global News, Wiebe said he spoke with the family and shares his deepest condolences for their loss.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet and hear directly from the Reimer family about the tragic, senseless and avoidable death of their daughter, Jordyn,” Wiebe said in the statement. “I shared my deepest condolences at their loss, which is affecting an entire community of people.”

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Wiebe went on to say the province is committed to working on preventing impaired driving and enforcing stiffer penalties.

“As I shared with Karen Reimer during our meeting, our government is committed to strengthening the penalties faced by those who endanger the lives of others with reckless, negligent acts behind the wheel,”  Wiebe said.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure that no other family has to go through this devastating situation. I’ll continue to work with the Reimer family, as well as organizations and law enforcement, on more steps we can take to prevent drunk driving and hold those who do accountable.”

Doug and Karen say they’re hoping a review could be precedent-setting and send a strong message.

“We believe this case has what it takes to set precedence and to send the message to the public that not only people who drive impaired are going to be found responsible, but that criminal culpability extends and can extend to drinking buddies, friends — depending on what your role is — that leads to killing somebody.”

“It’s too late for us to save Jordyn,” Doug said.

“But if it acts as a deterrence and helps people change their behaviours and it helps save another family from having to go through this, then it’s worth it. It’s all worth it.”


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