Six-month jail term for dangerous driving causing death

Stephany Nyl of Abbotsford has been sentenced in relation to the crash that killed her friend Kasha Dezainde in 2011.

Kasha Dezainde

Kasha Dezainde

Kasha Dezainde loved dragonflies, flowers and the colour pink.

On Wednesday, her aunt and cousin wore pendants memorializing these favourites of Dezainde’s, as they attended the sentencing of the young woman who was driving the vehicle in which Dezainde was killed Jan. 30, 2011 at the age of 19.

Stephany Nyl, 20, of Abbotsford was sentenced to six months in prison followed by a five-year driving ban and 18 months’ probation. She previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death.

“Justice was served today,” Dezainde’s aunt Cori Jantzen said outside of Surrey provincial court after the proceedings.

She held in her hand another necklace adorned with the same pendants that she was wearing. She had wanted to pass it along to Nyl, but didn’t have the opportunity.

Jantzen said the situation is tragic for both families of the girls who had been close friends since Grade 9, often spending time at each other’s homes.

Dezainde had spend the night at Nyl’s on the evening before the crash, and they went to church together the next morning.

About 4:30 p.m. that day, Nyl was driving her 1992 Nissan NX hatchback west on Page Road in Abbotsford when she hit a railroad track at a speed that investigators estimated to be 125 km/h.

The impact sent the small car vaulting through the air, sliding across the road and crashing into two trees on the driver’s side.

Alcohol or drugs were not factors in the collision.

Dezainde, the only passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene due to a severe skull fracture. Nyl was airlifted to hospital in critical condition and spent two months there recuperating from injuries that included a broken collarbone and ribs, bleeding of the brain, a collapsed lung, spleen damage and soft-tissues injuries.

In sentencing Nyl, Judge Melissa Gillespie acknowledged the emotional impact that Dezainde’s death has had on both families, calling it a “senseless loss.”

She said the community as a whole was also impacted by losing such a “dynamic” person.

Gillespie also referenced the “significant remorse” and “emotional devastation” Nyl has felt since the crash.

“She has also lost a friend,” the judge said.

However, Gillespie said she also had to consider Nyl’s “deliberate risk-taking behaviour” on the day of the crash when she ignored the posted speed limit – which dropped from 60 km/h to 50 km/h before the railroad tracks – as well as signs indicating the railway crossing and a bump in the road.

“She should have exercised much more caution and been more prudent in her decision-making,” Gillespie said.

Nyl, a single mom, will begin her jail term on Aug. 23. The judge delayed imposing the sentence so that Nyl could make arrangements for the care of her 18-month-old son.