Prison sentence provides no closure for crash victim's family
Daughter was an "all-around beautiful person"
Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011 06:00 am
Monday’s guilty plea and sentencing for the man who killed Sarah Euler of Morinville might have brought the judicial proceedings to an end, but there is no closure for her family.
“I suppose it’s over and done with,” her father Dan said over coffee Tuesday morning. “It doesn’t help much.
“It’s never going to happen. It’s not something you close and leave behind.”
Euler died Feb. 19, 2009 at the age of 29 when Trevor Curtis Winsor, driving drunk, crashed into her Honda Civic head on. Winsor pleaded guilty Monday to impaired driving causing death and was sentenced to three years in jail.
“I thought it wasn’t enough,” Dan said. “He gets three years; he’ll be out in 15 months. My daughter is gone.”
That daughter was an avid traveller and environmentalist as well as outgoing and friendly.
“She was like a free spirit, you know. She was really good to be around. Lit up the room a bit whenever she was in a social situation,” her brother Seth said. “She loved dancing, any form of expressing herself in a positive way. She was a charm to be around.”
Born, raised and educated in Morinville, Euler always knew she wanted to help the environment, said Dan. Her commitment inspired the family to start using an artificial Christmas tree during the holidays.
“She changed her mind later,” Dan laughed.
She studied forestry at Red Deer College, but became disenchanted with the job prospects.
“Mostly all you did was survey and plan roads for logging companies, drilling companies,” Dan said. “She didn’t like that.”
She enrolled at NAIT in a two-year program, worked for a while afterwards, then went to the University of Alberta to finish her bachelor’s degree. In between she married and later divorced. At the time of her death, she was working in Fort McMurray to save money to re-enroll in university to pursue her master’s in environmental sciences. She wanted to work towards a PhD.
“She wanted to make the world a better place, you know. If she could,” Dan said.
She spent her free time travelling, particularly in South and Central America, hiking Machu Picchu and even taking Spanish lessons so she could speak to people in their own language.
“She liked to get out,” Dan said. Every year Euler and a group of friends would hike into the Rockies for a two-week vacation, packing all of their supplies with them.
“I can’t think of anybody who didn’t like Sarah,” he said. “She was really easygoing, fun to be with, just an all-around beautiful person.”
But those memories do not make up for the depth of the family’s loss almost three years on. No one, Dan said, can truly understand what it feels like to lose a child.
“I know people who lost children and you give your condolences but you have no idea. I thought I did have an idea what’s going on until this happened,” he said. “I had no idea what they were going through.”
The family, including mother Delores, try to go about their daily lives but there is little relief.
“You know we try and keep things as normal as possible, but sometimes it’s hard to do.”