Accused drunk driver expected to plead guilty in fatal crash
The Surrey woman accused of drunk driving in the crash that killed Kassandra Kaulius last year intends to plead guilty to the charges against her, according to the provincial court registry.
Natasha Leigh Warren, 34, has been charged with dangerous driving causing death, impaired driving causing death, causing an accident resulting in death and failure to stop at an accident causing bodily harm. She was scheduled to make a court appearance Wednesday, but her lawyer appeared on her behalf to ask for a date make a plea.
Kaulius, 22, was killed in a horrific crash on May 3, 2011 while she was driving home from a softball game. Her car was broadsided by a restoration company van on 64th Avenue, shortly after witnesses say the van sped through a red light.
The driver, who witnesses described as intoxicated, allegedly got out of her vehicle and tried to run away after the crash. Police say they found her lying facedown in a wooded area nearby.
Wednesday would have been Kaulius’s 24th birthday, and her mother Markita described it as a tough day to be in court.
“We’re a very close family, so this has been extremely hard for us,” she said.
“She used to love her birthday. She’d always start the countdown a month ahead of time just to remind us her birthday was coming.”
The family has been lobbying for Canada to introduce vehicular manslaughter charges under the Criminal Code, allowing for harsher punishments in similar cases. To visit Markita Kaulius's "Families for Justice" Facebook page, click here.
Warren’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 13 with an intention to plead guilty. The plea will not be official until then, and no conviction has been entered.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Michele Brunoro