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Driver confronts Surrey victim's family after conviction in fatal, drunken crash

Vanessa Usak was killed in a car crash in Surrey in 2008. Stephen Jenkins (left) was convicted Dec. 20 of impaired and dangerous driving in relation to the fatal collision and accosted Vanessa
Vanessa Usak was killed in a car crash in Surrey in 2008. Stephen Jenkins (left) was convicted Dec. 20 of impaired and dangerous driving in relation to the fatal collision and accosted Vanessa's mom Diana and friends (below right) at the courthouse.
— image credit: Evan Seal / The Leader

As he left the Surrey courthouse Thursday afternoon after being found responsible for a crash that killed a 23-year-old Surrey woman, Stephen Fraser Jenkins confronted the family of the victim and gave "the finger" to the media.

Moments earlier, a Surrey Provincial Court judge ruled Jenkins, 42, was guilty of impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death, and dangerous driving causing bodily harm in a 2008 collision that killed Vanessa Usak and injured her friend.

"Her daughter hit me!" Jenkins yelled outside the courthouse, pointing to Vanessa's mother Diana, who broke down in tears.

Sheriffs stepped in and ushered him away, just as they had been forced to do earlier inside the courthouse when Jenkins came after Diana.

"Because it's Christmastime and because Vanessa was a Christian, I would actually like to forgive him for killing my daughter," Diana said. "But he has shown zero remorse… he has shown a complete lack of respect toward my family.

"He's a monster."

In delivering his verdict, Judge Paul Dohm said both Jenkins' and Usak's blood alcohol levels exceeded the legal limit and at issue was who caused the crash.

But Dohm ruled Jenkins' van crossed the double yellow line and struck Usak's Honda Civic near 144 Street and 108 Avenue in North Surrey on July 19, 2008.

The judge said even factoring in Jenkins' drunkenness at the time of the crash, the fact it was four-and-a-half years ago and that Jenkins has memory problems from a prior accident, the reliability of his evidence was concerning.

Dohm said the defendant's court testimony about how much he had to drink and when he drank it, the route he drove, and other details clashed with what he told police officers right after the incident and were "illogical and non-sensical" and "completely unbelievable."

During the trial in October, a witness testified he asked Jenkins at the crash scene if he was okay or needed help, to which he replied "I f----d up. I really f----d this time."

Those comments, said the judge, indicated Jenkins knew he caused the accident.

Vanessa's mom Diana said in a perfect world, she'd like to see Jenkins go to jail for life. In reality, the sentence for such offences are generally much shorter.

"I'm worried that if he gets a slap on the wrist, he'll go out and reoffend and injure somebody else's loved one next time."

Jenkins has a prior impaired driving conviction from 1997.

His sentencing is scheduled for next year.

 

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