Cape Breton man sentenced in crash that killed Eskasoni woman

MacKenzie Daniel Poulette was sentenced for his role in a fatal collision that killed 24-year-old Takisha Starr Googoo.  (Erin Pottie/CBC - image credit)
MacKenzie Daniel Poulette was sentenced for his role in a fatal collision that killed 24-year-old Takisha Starr Googoo. (Erin Pottie/CBC - image credit)

An Eskasoni, N.S., man who was drunk behind the wheel in a fatal collision in November 2020 has been sentenced in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

MacKenzie Poulette, 26, will spend two years and eight months in jail after admitting he was heavily intoxicated and driving more than double the speed limit when he crashed a pickup truck into a power pole along Highway 216 in his home community.

Poulette and two others were injured in the crash that killed 24-year-old Takisha Starr Googoo.

In a victim impact statement, a family friend of Googoo's described her as "our motivator for fun."

"She was such a happy, helpful and bubbly person with the most infectious laugh," Mary Lou Gould wrote. "She was an incredible, kind-hearted soul and thinking about her last moments and how scared she was just tears my soul up."

Poulette was originally given a five-year sentence that was later reduced after he was given credit for him spent on remand.

Poulette, who suffered a broken pelvis in the crash, pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

In a court appearance earlier this month, Poulette told the judge he regrets many of his choices that night.

"I'm sorry for the pain I caused and the hurt I caused in my community," Poulette told a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge. "I hope I can move on from this and be a better person."

The court heard that drinking was a learned behaviour for Poulette, who grew up in an unstable environment.

His defence lawyer said Poulette hopes to one day use his experience to educate children and young adults about the dangers of drinking and driving.

In addition to his jail sentence, Poulette was handed a lifetime firearms prohibition and licence suspension for 10 years.

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