by Tony Blais
A northern Alberta man who killed two of his older brothers in a "senseless" and "devastating" drunk driving crash was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.
Tarik Ace Cardinal, 20, was also placed on 12 months probation following his release and banned from driving for 3 1/2 years.
Cardinal, who sobbed throughout a lengthy apology in which he called the aftermath of the incident "unbearable," earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of impaired driving causing death in connection with the May 10, 2014, single vehicle rollover near Goodfish Lake.
"I am just so sorry this all happened," said Cardinal, after telling court that the crash is constantly replayed in his mind.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Stephen Hillier called it a "tragic" and "inexcusable" case that resulted in "devastating consequences" and a "senseless loss."
Hillier noted Cardinal pleaded guilty and repeatedly expressed genuine remorse, and has family and community support.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Smoky Lake RCMP responded to a rollover at about 8 p.m. on May 10, 2014, on Range Road 133 north of Highway 28 near Vilna.
Crown prosecutor James Mahon told court that Tarik Cardinal was identified as the driver of a 1991 Ford Ranger and his two brothers, Jordan Lee Cardinal, 23, and Christopher David Cardinal, 33, were his passengers.
Mahon said the two passengers were not buckled up and were thrown from the vehicle during the rollover, and died as a result of their injuries.
Tarik Cardinal, who had been wearing a seatbelt, was also injured and was taken to hospital in St. Paul.
Court heard Cardinal admitted he drank four TNT beers, an eight percent lager, before driving. Blood tests revealed he would have been well over the legal limit at the time of the crash.
A police collision reconstruction report says, Cardinal had been going at least 94 km/h at the time he lost control and rolled the vehicle. The cause was attributed to inattention, falling asleep at the wheel, distraction or impairment.
Cardinal said he lost control while picking up a speaker that had fallen in the vehicle.
The report also indicated that police were not sure where the two passengers were riding, and it was possible at least one of them could have been in the box of the pickup.
Goodfish Lake is about 160 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.