Drunk driver who killed woman in 2011 crash given parole

Ray Cantelo given five years for Kings County accident that also badly injured victim’s husband

Ryan Ross rross@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on August 1, 2014

Raymond Cantelo prepares to enter Supreme Court building Tuesday in Charlottetown for the resumption of his trial. He faces six charges, including drunk driving causing death.

©Guardian photo

An Island man who was sentenced to five years in prison after driving drunk during an accident that killed a Kings County woman and seriously injured her husband has been granted full parole.

On Oct. 22, 2011, Raymond Alfred Cantelo was driving a van that pulled in front of a motorcycle that Bernard and Stacy Cheverie were riding on Peakes Road in central Kings County.

Stacy Cheverie died at the scene and Bernard was seriously injured.

Cantelo later pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm and leaving the scene of an accident.

The Parole Board of Canada issued its decision Tuesday to grant Cantelo full parole, saying he didn’t represent an undue risk to society and his release would help with his reintegration as a law-abiding citizen.

In granting full parole, the board attached several conditions, including that Cantelo is to have no contact with Bernard Cheverie or any of the two victims’ families. The board also ordered Cantelo not to consume, buy or possess alcohol because future use would increase his risk of reoffending.

A report on the parole board’s review said it received several victim impact statements in which they described their overwhelming sense of loss and other negative emotions they feel due to Cantelo’s actions.

After the crash, Bernard Cheverie had to be airlifted to Halifax for treatment of injuries that included 17 broken ribs, a punctured lung and nerve damage.

In the parole board’s report, it said Cantelo not only caused the death of one person and severe physical and psychological damage to another, but his actions devastated the couple’s family and friends.

“The tragic results of your behaviour cannot be overstated.”

The board said substance abuse was assessed as presenting a high need of improvement while his attitude and personal orientation were assessed as having a moderate need of improvement.

Cantelo told the board that if he was released he planned to work repairing equipment, volunteer and attend activities at his church.

He denied drinking since the accident, except on one occasion, and he told the board he considered himself to be an alcoholic, although Cantelo said he was participating in a support program.

The report also said Cantelo’s partner was supportive and was willing to provide accommodations after his release.