Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Drunk Driver Sent to Jail for Death of Saskatchewan Conservation Officer

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Drunk Driver Sent to Jail for Death of Saskatchewan Conservation Officer

Article excerpt

Drunk driver jailed in conservation officer death

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SASKATOON - A drunk driver who killed a Saskatchewan conservation officer has been sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison.

Blaine Thomas Taypotat, who is 37, pleaded guilty in December to manslaughter and drunk driving causing death.

Justin Knackstedt, who was 23, was killed when he stopped to help direct traffic at a crash near Saskatoon in May 2013.

Officers at the scene said Taypotat was driving about 100 kilometres an hour when he hit Knackstedt, propelling him about 40 metres into the ditch.

The Crown had argued for a 10-year sentence because of Taypotat's extensive criminal record, which included previous drunk-driving convictions.

He was already prohibited from taking the wheel and had outstanding warrants for other drunk-driving charges.

Crown prosecutor Jennifer Claxton-Vicsko told Taypotat's sentencing hearing in April that he already had been involved in a hit-and-run in Regina the day he killed Knackstedt.

Witnesses described seeing a black SUV speeding, swerving in and out of the ditch and weaving through traffic before arriving at a roadblock set up at the crash. …

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