Handout photos show Kelli-Jo Smith (L) and Sean Mahoney (R) victims of a crash in Calgary, AB early August 12, 2012.
Credits: Courtesy Global Calgary.
CALGARY -- Mere hours after shuttling wedding guests who'd had too many drinks home, Sean Mahoney's wife died in his arms, the horrific result of an alleged impaired driving crash.
Kelli-Jo Smith, 38, died after the Ford pickup Mahoney was driving was hit by a Mercedes at about 3:15 a.m. Sunday.
Both Smith and Mahoney, 50, were ejected.
"He said he heard a really loud bang and thought he was still in the vehicle, but he was sliding on his back outside the vehicle," said Trevor Baxter, who lived with the couple.
Mahoney suffered multiple injuries, said Baxter, including hand, ankle and spine fractures and severe road rash, but still managed to reach his wife.
"He woke up to (Kelli's) voice and headed straight for her," said Baxter. "He held her and she passed away."
He said what makes the loss of his "Auntie Kelli" -- who had a nine-year-old daughter -- and the trauma suffered by Mahoney more tragic still, is what happened just a few hours earlier.
Baxter was the best man at a wedding and said initial plans to drive home were scrapped after he downed "liquid courage" to make his speech.
He called Mahoney, who, along with Baxter's stepfather, helped a handful of people in need of rides.
Baxter said it wasn't the first time Mahoney stepped up to be his designated driver.
"I knew he'd be the guy who would come out and get me, in a heartbeat, anytime," he said. "He would rather not see me drive home after drinking."
Ramandeep Singh Jaswal, 27, is charged with impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm and refusing to provide a breath sample.
He was granted bail Tuesday and is expected back in court next month.