Sam Alec sentenced to 8 years, 4 months in prison

Former Xaxli’p resident Samuel Alec was sentenced Apr. 28 to eight years, four months in prison minus time served for killing three people while driving drunk on the Duffey Lake Road in 2015.

His sentence will amount to six years after credit for time already served.

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He also received a 15-year driving ban and will have to undergo mandatory DNA tests.

Cyclists Ross Chafe, 50, and Kelly Blunden, 53, were riding down a steep, winding hill on Highway 99 north of Pemberton when a vehicle driven by Alec crossed the centre line and struck them head-on.

Paul Pierre Jr., 52, a passenger in Alec’s vehicle, also died in the crash.

The judge said Alec was “grossly impaired” when the incident happened and his blood alcohol was approximately three times the legal limit. He had four earlier drunk driving convictions.

During the sentencing, the judge took note of Alec's troubled background. He said Alec began drinking and smoking marijuana at age 10.

"Mr. Alec's childhood was marred by periods of neglect and abuse," Justice William Ehrcke said, adding that Alec was a victim of physical and sexual abuse.

The effects of multi-generational trauma caused by the legacy of residential schools also played a role in the sentencing.

Alec's mother, Georgina Alec, testified about the abuse she suffered at a residential school in Mission and how that affected her parenting abilities.

"I learned my parenting skills from those priests and nuns - to be abusive. To be put down. I know I wasn't a good mother," she said.

The Crown was seeking a sentence of 12 years in prison, minus time served. If imposed, it would have been the longest sentence in Canadian history for the charge of impaired driving causing death. Alec’s lawyer Paul McMurray argued for two years less a day, in addition to time served, which would have amounted to a four-year sentence. He also asked for three years’ probation.

Samuel Alec has been in custody since August 2015.

While in court in March, Alec wept in front of the families of the three men he killed. He also apologized to the Blunden, Chafe and Pierre families, saying. “This is by far the biggest mistake I have ever made. I apologize. I am sorry.”

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