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Drebbin
03-05-2005, 10:31 AM
The Calgary Herald (Alberta)

March 4, 2005 Friday
Final Edition

HEADLINE: Crash victim relives ordeal: Drunk driver left motorcyclist to burn

BYLINE: Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald

Alex Lam's greatest fear, aside from living in constant pain from devastating injuries incurred in a fiery crash two years ago, is being a burden to his family and ultimately left to die alone.

On Thursday, he read his victim impact statement during sentencing arguments for Richard Mark Bockman, the drunk driver who ruined his life.

Lam said he has virtually abandoned dreams of becoming an optometrist and raising a family.

His mother Kellie, father Ronnie and sister Eva have put their lives on hold and must share in providing his round-the-clock care.

"There is no word to describe the amount of pain I am going through right now. Do you know how it feels to burn alive and yet survive through it?" said Lam, 22, using the support of a walker.

"I was trapped in a burnt and broken body for months. I was in a coma for over a month, and, after I woke up, I couldn't move, talk, eat or drink, nor could I communicate with anyone. I lay there like a vegetable."

Lam's life went up in flames just after midnight on May 14, 2003, when Bockman made an illegal left turn at Brisebois Drive and John Laurie Boulevard N.W., slamming into Lam, who was on a motorcycle.

Bockman, 53, then fled the scene of the fiery crash, essentially leaving the victim to die a horrible death, and later hid in bushes in a failed attempt to avoid being caught by police.

He pleaded guilty late last year to impaired driving causing bodily harm and leaving the scene of an accident. He had a blood-alcohol level just under double the legal driving limit and a prior drunk-driving conviction.

Crown prosecutor Christine Rideout, in seeking a total federal prison term of 31/2 years, including a year for hit and run, said she would have sought a higher penalty if not for Bockman's remorse in admitting guilt.

"This driver freely and voluntarily made a choice to get behind the wheel," said Rideout.

"Then, when Mr. Lam was on fire, he chose to leave. Eleven other people stopped to help put out the fire. When later confronted by police, he chose to run and hide in the bushes."

Lam sustained brain damage and burns so severe to 65 per cent of his body that he spent a year in hospital. He required so many grafts that doctors ran out of skin to use.

He also sustained burns that left his face permanently scarred. All five fingers on his right hand were amputated because they were badly charred.

Lam said he has numerous metal pins in his body and the brain injury has adversely affected his speech, memory and sight.

Defence lawyer James Thornborough, seeking a conditional sentence of less than two years to be served essentially under house arrest, said his client was "not without his flaws" but was "not an evil man, not an indifferent man."

"He's frustrated he can't reverse the consequences," said Thornborough. "He's angry with himself and can't forgive himself."

Bockman, like the victim, has at times wished he was no longer alive. He also recently apologized during pretrial hearings for a $16.5-million lawsuit Lam filled against him last year.

Justice Peter Clark will sentence Bockman on Tuesday.

buckanddot
03-05-2005, 02:06 PM
I say suspend the 3 1/2 years, just give the victim a can of lighter fluid and a match.

NY90
03-05-2005, 02:44 PM
Awwwww, the poor baby. He feels bad about what he did?
Maybe he should get a medal for apologising to the kid who's life is ruined.
No fingers on one hand, HUH?
I'll help him out...... dafinger ...Here's to you, asshole. :angry:

arthureld
03-05-2005, 03:01 PM
I don't see why he is being charged with impaired driving. Isn't that a reduced charge from drunk driving.

EasyJim
03-05-2005, 04:35 PM
3 1/2 years big f*****g deal, the s.o.b. should get a lot more than that, prior drunk driving, leaving the kid to burn to death,hiding from the cops, everybody makes mistakes but come on, this piece of shit needs to be put away for life at the least. I gotta say if this kid was one of my family members or friends, I would be getting locked up for killing the piece of shit who did this. :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry:

Tony
03-05-2005, 06:46 PM
I believe "Hit and Run" and "Leaving the Scene Of An Accident" should be felony charges with mandatory 25 years. No parole, no pardon, no probation. Also, termination of their drivers license, with no option for "Work Permit" or any other loophole.

Why? Basically when someone runs, or flees the scene, they are basically admiting that their life and freedom comes before anyone they have hurt or may have killed. They are admitting guilt and have no regards for anyone else.

I dont know about anyone else here, but I do not want to share the road with such people. I do not want them sharing the road with my family, my friends or anyone else. A person who is this much of a coward, deserves to send the rest of his life OFF the roadways and paying for the damage they have caused.

(There are cases of extreme shock and mental trauma from causing an accident and or seeing someone hurt, and of course such incidents would need verification clinically.)

wreckerman
03-05-2005, 11:14 PM
I agree with Tony on this, accidents do happen and it's part of life, but you have to step up and take responsibilty for your actions. Except for a case of extreme trauma (which the lawyers can have a field day with) there is no excuse for a person to leave the scene of an accident. As far as I'm concern the law should throw the book at him.