Editorial: Innocence lost

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 marked a very difficult and emotional day for many members of our community.

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 marked a very difficult and emotional day for many members of our community.

Supreme Court Justice John D. Truscott rendered his long-awaited decision in the Martin Gentles trial in BC Supreme Court.

Gentles was the driver of a truck travelling at about 2:15 a.m. on April 22, 2012 down Carson Drive which collided with TRU nursing students Rayel MacDonald, then 20, and Alysha Mullett, then 19, shortly after the girls left the Indoor Rodeo Barn Dance.

No one can deny the tragedy that unfolded on our streets that night.

A young life full of innocence and promise was lost when Rayel died. Alysha’s life was also changed forever when she suffered life threatening injuries due to the collision.

Gentles himself is now just 30 years old and will carry the burden of the accident on his shoulders for the rest of his life.

The tragedy unfolded before dozens of young bystanders and forever changed the lives of everyone involved.

Now we are left to pick up the pieces.

But as Rayel’s mom said following the verdict, where do we go from here?

Truscott found Gentles guilty of impaired driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. He said in the courtroom he believed beyond a reasonable doubt that Gentles was trying to evade police and ultimately responsibility.

He did not, however, find him guilty of the more serious charges of impaired driving causing death and bodily harm nor of dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm. Although some may not agree with the outcome, the judge has made his decision.

We must now move forward. We must go on, but the past will always remain.

Let the candle burn forever in the memory of Rayel.

– Williams Lake Tribune