Tyler Isbister, his fiancee Katerina Masson and their friend Nathan Arsenault did the right thing by taking a taxi home after going for drinks following an Oilers game.
However, Isbister's life was cut tragically short and the lives of many others were horribly altered forever when a repeat drunk driver lost control of the uninsured BMW he was driving and crashed into the Yellow Cab taxi.
On Friday, Chris Lindgren, 22, took responsibility for the devastation he caused in the Oct. 2 collision on 107 street and 121 Avenue by pleading guilty to several charges, including one for an earlier drunk driving rollover in Grande Prairie, and was sentenced to five years in prison.
The Grand Prairie man - who court heard had only a learner's permit at the time of the deadly collision - was also banned from driving for four years.
"The losses as a result of Mr. Lindgren's drinking and driving are enormous," said Judge Marilena Carminati. "When someone drinks and drives, we all suffer."
Lindgren pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death, three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm and criminal hit and run in relation to the Edmonton collision and impaired driving causing bodily harm for the 2011 Grande Prairie rollover.
Crown prosecutor Tania Sarkar told court the south-bound Lindgren smashed into the taxi after hitting the median separating north and south lanes on 107 Street and jumping over it into north bound traffic.
Lindgren and a female passenger ran from the scene, but were nabbed by a K-9 unit at a nearby 7 Eleven. Court heard Lindren was not only drunk at the time, but he was also drinking alcohol while driving.
Isbister, 25, suffered a broken neck and died two days later in hospital from his injuries. Masson and Arsenault suffered various cuts, bruises and injuries and cabby Yohannes Gebremichael suffered two fractured ribs, a fractured wrist, a bruised knee and internal injuries.
Gebremichael was in hospital for 2 1/2 months and is still unable to work as he needs crutches and a wheelchair.
Countless tears were shed as heart wrenching victim impact statements were read out in a packed courtroom with many wearing t shirts with Isbister's photo on them and the words "Forever in our hearts."
Isbister's mother Rebecca spread out the torn and bloody Oilers jersey that Tyler had been wearing at the time of the deadly crash on a table with a couple pictures of him on top as she tearfully read out her statement.
"His death will haunt me every second of every day for the rest of my life," she said.
Masson sobbed as she recounted the horror following the collision and stared directly at Lindgren as she slammed him for running away from the scene. She also told him that he had stolen her and Tyler's entire future.
"Chris, you took away everything, everything I ever wanted," she said, adding she wishes he was the one dead.
Lindgren apologized to the victims in court.
Outside court, Rebecca Isbister noted nothing will ever bring Tyler back and said the justice system needs fixing.
Masson agreed, saying five years is nothing compared to what Lindgren took away from them.
"How is that justice?," she asked.