Woman who killed Saskatoon family while driving drunk receives statutory release

·2 min read
Catherine McKay pleaded guilty in an impaired driving crash that killed four people in 2016.  (Victoria Dinh/CBC - image credit)
Catherine McKay pleaded guilty in an impaired driving crash that killed four people in 2016. (Victoria Dinh/CBC - image credit)

Catherine McKay, who received a nine-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death in 2016, will serve the rest of her sentence in the community due to a mandatory statutory release.

Court heard that McKay had a blood alcohol level three times over the legal limit when she drove through an intersection at Wanuskewin Road and Highway 11 just outside Saskatoon earlier that year. McKay slammed into a car carrying Chanda and Jordan Van de Vorst and their two children, Miguire, 2, and Kamryn, 5, killing the entire family.

Statutory release is required by law in most cases once an offender serves two-thirds of their sentence and shows that they are not a significant danger to the community.

The Parole Board of Canada's recent decision imposed conditions on McKay's release including a ban on alcohol and drugs, a driving prohibition and a no-contact order with the victim's family.

According to the parole board document, McKay's substance abuse risk is low, while her accountability, motivation level and reintegration potential was assessed as high.

McKay has been on day parole since 2020 but was previously denied full parole when she applied.

"You have satisfied all program requirements and are extensively involved in community programming/interventions, and as such, you will not be referred to further CSC programming in the community," read the report.

"You will attend and facilitate weekly AA meetings, maintain contact with your AA sponsor, work with the Indigenous Community Liaison Officer [ICLO] and community Elders, and continue with your employment and volunteer activities."

The report noted that McKay has had a history of unhealthy relationships and experienced years of abuse.

"You struggled with managing your emotions and stress, which was intensified by physical pain, and used alcohol as a coping strategy," it said.

"Prior to your current offences, you state your drinking increased to cope with stress and pain management."

The board said it's important that McKay continue to address the issues that contributed to her breaking the law. She is ordered to follow a treatment plan as arranged by her parole supervisor, including working with an elder.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting