Grief into action

Parents of Surrey victim attend Langley check stop



As police stopped cars and trucks on both sides of the road, Surrey residents Victor and Markita Kaulius stood in the centre of the overpass that carries 204 Street across the Langley bypass and told reporters about the pain of losing their daughter Kassandra to a suspected drunk driver.

It is something beyond words, mother Markita Kaulius said.

“We never, ever expected anything like this to happen to our family.”

Father Victor Kaulius said they were speaking out in the hope of preventing further anguish for other families.

“I don’t want to see another brother, sister, husband, wife, mother, father go through what we’re going through.”

Their daughter, 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius, was struck and killed by a vehicle believed to have been driven by an impaired driver on May 3.

In the weeks since, the grieving parents have called for minimum sentences for drinking and driving offences.

It is not enough to have tough new laws if no one is punished to the full extent, they said Thursday.

“They’re not strict enough,” Victor Kaulius said.

Complaints that new laws are too harsh were dismissed by Markita Kaulius.

“You come to my house and I’ll take you to my daughter’s graveside,” she said.

“And you tell her this is too tough.”

The parents want a minimum two year driving suspension for a first drunk driving conviction, five years in jail if a drunk driver causes an accident and 10 years if the accident is fatal.

“We’re just two parents,” Markita Kaulius said.

“We need the public to stand beside us and speak up also.”

The Thursday afternoon Counter Attack event was a photo opportunity to promote the campaign against drinking and driving.

Supt. Norm Gaumont, the head of RCMP Lower Mainland district traffic services, was on hand for the start of the 3 p.m. check stop that aimed to surprise people who drank too much for lunch.

“If you’re going to drink and drive you’re going to get caught,” Gaumont said.

“We’re going to be out here. We’re going to get you.”

He described drinking and driving as part of the “big five” list of dangerous behavior police were looking for that afternoon.

The others were intersection infractions (a spotter could be seen at one end of the overpass watching cars as they came through the lights), driving without a seatbelt, driving distracted and speeding.

The RCMP said overall traffic fatalities in the Lower Mainland communities they police are down 20 per cent this year compared to last year.

Impaired driving fatalities are down 50 per cent.

The provincial government has given police an additional $367,000 to target impaired drivers for the Summer Counter Attack program.

From Friday, July 1 through Sunday, July 3, RCMP in the Lower Mainland issued 1,742 tickets and penalties including 32 90-day driving bans and five impaired driving charges.

The Mounties wrote 758 speeding tickets and impounded 72 vehicles for excessive speeding.

They issued 41 tickets for distracted driving and 53 for intersection infractions.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: gunshots fired outside Langley gas station

Two people involved left scene uninjured, police said

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

VIDEO: Art in the time of COVID: how a Langley exhibition managed it

Holding the charitable event depended on which phase of restrictions were in effect

Three TWU grads named to first ‘Fellows’ program at Langley-based university

Program selects promising recent graduates to participate in a year-long paid internship

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Most Read