NEWS
12/11/2017 18:35 EST | Updated 12/11/2017 18:40 EST

Impaired driver gets jail sentence for fiery crash that killed woman in Edmonton

EDMONTON — A 21-year-old Alberta man has been sentenced to four years and three months in prison for a fiery crash that killed a woman in Edmonton last year.

Eric Lestar was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty last month to impaired driving causing death.

Lestar was impaired, at more than twice the legal blood alcohol limit, when he got behind the wheel and sped through traffic in October 2016.

He rear-ended an SUV that Joann Christou was driving.

The SUV burst into flames with Christou, 50, trapped inside. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Judge Larry Anderson said the horrendous manner of death weighed into the sentence, but noted Lestar was obviously remorseful during the trial.

After his prison term, Lestar will have a five-year driving ban.

"He's been prepared for this for a while. He knew ... what it was going to be as far as the sentence length, and I think all things considered, he's doing OK," James Rayworth, Lestar's lawyer, said outside of court.

An agreed statement of facts said Lestar had been drinking at a pub and never slowed down when his speeding car slammed into the back of Christou's vehicle.

The Crown had been seeking a five-year jail term.

Christou's family said they accept Lestar's sentence and are ready to move on.

"I think he's remorseful and I know the images that he may have seen from the accident, and I know they won't be leaving him for the rest of his life," said Ian Harris, Christou's son.

Harris said he'd like to see mandatory-minimum sentences brought in for impaired driving causing death.

(CTV Edmonton)