Forgiveness remained the goal for Kionna Nicotine’s family on the day her best friend pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death.
Some family members have already forgiven the driver for the fatal collision. Others have “a long way to go,” according to a statement provided to Global News.
In June, Kionna was found in the parking lot of an Appleby Drive apartment after being hit by a vehicle. She died at the scene.
On Thursday, Stacey-Marie Antoinette Stone pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death and failing to stop after a collision. The specific circumstances of the early morning tragedy have not come out in court.
“The significant impact that drinking and driving has made in our lives has left so many shattered hearts,” the family said in the statement.
“If alcohol was not involved, Kionna would still be with us today, preparing for her 24th birthday on December 3rd.”
Instead, the family plans to release balloons at the collision site and sing a birthday song.
The guilty pleas offer comfort to some in the family, knowing that the driver has taken responsibility for her actions. Others, the statement reads, are concerned a lenient sentence wouldn’t reflect the harsh reality of drinking and driving.
Family encourages forgiveness at Kionna Nicotine vigil in Saskatoon
Family remember Kionna as a kind prankster, an aspiring paramedic and a two-spirit woman who helped many in the LGBTQ2 community. She also worked as an educational assistant.
“Her hopes were to bring peace and laughter to all who loved and cherished her,” the family said.
Kionna and Stone grew up together in North Battleford. They were inseparable during the early portion of their 12-year friendship, according to the family.
Relatives of the victim have sought healing through prayers and traditional ceremonies. They are also considering grief counselling.
“We do not know how to live without her,” they said.
Stone remains out of custody, but appeared by phone Thursday. Defence lawyer Logan Marchand told Judge Shannon Metivier that his client was receiving unspecified treatment in North Battleford.
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2021.
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