Reliving a tragedy: Parents of fatal drunk driving victim speak out
Jim and Nancy Ondejko are reliving a tragedy. The man convicted in a collision that killed their daughter has been charged with new offences, bringing back fresh fears someone else will be hurt.
Jessica Ondejko was killed instantly on May 8, 2008, when a drunk driver, Scott Renaud, slammed into her car. Renaud was convicted and served two years in jail. Prior to his sentencing, he asked the family for forgiveness telling them he was deeply sorry for what happened.
“This will continue to be a struggle for the rest of my life,” Renaud tells CTV Windsor’s Sacha Long. “Every day Sacha, every day I feel terrible.”
But the Ondejko's wonder if he really means it.
“He made the statement he wanted to honour Jessica the best way he could. This is not paying honour to someone whose life you've taken,” says Jessica’s father Jim Ondejko.
According to court documents, in December, Renaud was charged with assault and uttering threats to cause death. The charges stem from an incident in Mount Forest, Ont. near Guelph. Renaud pled guilty and received a pre-sentence custody of 10 days in jail. As of Wednesday, he's back in Amherstburg. He says, once again, he's sorry for his actions.
“(I’m) terribly sorry about what happened,” he says. “I am on the right track for that to never happen again. I've done a program since then. I continue to go to AA. I fell off the wagon ... had a slip. Now I'm back on track and I’m just looking to keep moving forward.”
After the collision, Jessica's parents were hopeful he would learn from his mistake, but after his latest conviction, they say they've lost hope and they fear someone else is going to get hurt.
“Our greatest fear is he'll do it again. The probability is high based on his recent actions. I don't want to see another family go through this and whatever I have to do to stop this I will do it,” Ondejko says.