Driver guilty in girl’s death

A woman has been found guilty of drunk driving in a May 2008 crash that killed four-year-old Alexa Middelaer in Delta.

A woman has been found guilty of drunk driving in a May 2008 crash that killed four-year-old Alexa Middelaer in Delta.

Carol Berner will be sentenced in early November after a judge yesterday found her responsible for causing death and bodily harm due to dangerous and impaired driving.

“I’m very proud as Alexa’s mom that justice was served today,” said Laurel Middelaer, outside provincial court in Surrey. “There’s no wins here. There’s no losses. There’s just the revelation that truth was upheld.”

Alexa was feeding a horse through a fence along 64th Street in a rural area of Delta when she was struck by Berner’s Oldsmobile Intrigue. The four-year-old was killed and her aunt Daphne Johansson was severely injured.

Justice Peder Gulbransen found that Berner was driving upwards of 90 km/h — 80 per cent above the posted limit (50 km/h) — and failed to react properly when her car hit speed bumps:

She waited nine seconds and then mistakenly hit the gas, not the brakes.

He concluded that while Berner did not display outward symptoms of intoxication, she was impaired because her blood alcohol was at least 0.06 and her driving was significantly different than it would normally be.

Following the verdict, Berner, dressed in black pants and jacket, left quietly through a side door and got into a waiting SUV. She was holding a number of pamphlets including one entitled Every Day with Jesus.

Her lawyer, David Tarnow, said his client was upset. He felt he had offered a good defence — particularly against the impaired charges.

 
 
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