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Local man accused of drunk driving causing death

The late John Fisher with his wife Jodi Cohen. - Photo submitted
The late John Fisher with his wife Jodi Cohen.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Almost seven months later, charges have been laid against a local man accused of driving drunk and killing another motorist who just happened to be a long-time volunteer with Alcoholics Anonymous.

“That’s the sad irony,” said Jodi Cohen, whose husband died in the Nov. 26, 2013, head-on collision.

John Norman Fisher, 59, was returning to Campbell River after working the day at a group home in Buckley Bay. Just after 10 p.m. Fisher was driving north on the Island Highway, near Sailor Road in Oyster Bay, when the tragedy occurred.

According to Campbell River RCMP, a southbound Volvo crossed the centre line and collided head-on with Fisher’s Honda sedan.

Fisher sustained fatal injuries and bled to death at the scene, while the other motorist was taken by ambulance to Campbell River hospital and later airlifted to Victoria General Hospital. Police did not say what injuries the other driver sustained.

Just as he always did, Fisher called his wife before leaving work and when he didn’t arrive on time, she called RCMP who told her the highway was shut down due to an accident.

But she couldn’t get any further information. Then, around 1 a.m., she got the knock on the door as Mounties arrived to tell her the dreadful news.

“My whole life was turned upside down,” she said.

Cohen has grieved and waited patiently, and now charges have been finally laid against the man accused of killing her husband.

Kenneth Spencer Johnston, 29, of Campbell River was charged with impaired driving causing death, driving with a blood alcohol level exceeding .80 and dangerous driving causing death. He’s due to make his first court appearance on July 14 in Campbell River.

“It’s important to me there’s accountability,” said Cohen, who understands why it took so long for charges to be laid. “The police investigation took quite a bit of time. I’m told they handed over a 1,300 page report to the Crown prosecutors. That takes a long time to put together and I’m learning the judicial process takes a long time.”

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