Friends of Drew Helgason replace a memorial for him last June

Driver handed three month sentence for fatal Harrison crash

Grewal to serve time on weekends and pay ICBC claims

A three-month conditional sentence has been handed down by the B.C. Provincial court in relation to the fatal crash that took place on Rockwell Drive two years ago.

Sukhvir Singh Grewal was sentenced last Thursday in a Chilliwack courtroom, after pleading guilty in April to dangerous driving causing death, and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Grewal will serve his sentence on weekends, along with 60 hours of community service and 15 months of probation.

He is also responsible for repaying ICBC for any claims paid out in relation to the crash, which occurred on June 4, 2011.

Drew Helgason and Courtney French, who were 19 and 16 respectively at that time, got into Grewal’s Honda Civic at the Green Point day use area. The Delta teens had planned to walk into town to get some groceries. They met Grewal, who was also heading into Harrison.

French has said that she and Helgason had pleaded with Grewal to slow down, stop and let them walk. In an interview with the Observer last summer, French described that ride as terrifying and described the  physical and emotional pain she still deals with.

Helgason had whispered to French to “close your eyes and keep them closed,” she said.

Just moments later, Grewal crashed into a pole at Killer’s Cove Marina. All three were transported to hospital, where Helgason died.

A year later, Grewal was charged with several counts, including impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, causing an accident resulting in death, dangerous driving causing death, dangerous driving causing bodily harm and causing an accident causing bodily harm.

Last year, Helgason’s mother Yvonne Van De Perre held a memorial vigil at the crash site, reading a letter her son had written prior to his death, around the time of his graduation.

“There are no human words to describe this pain,” she said at the time. “It’s been a life sentence without my son.”

Van De Perre is part of the Families for Justice group, whose many members have lost loved ones to accidents related to impaired driving. The group would like to see a change that would see drinking driving causing death become a manslaughter charge.

The impaired driving charges brought against Grewal a year ago were stayed following his sentencing.

news@ahobserver.com