Dangerous driver gets 2 years in jail for killing mother of 2

A 51-year old Bruderheim man has been sentenced to two years less a day for dangerous driving causing death in a May 2016 highway crash that killed a mother of two.

Once Todd Lambert is released from provincial jail, he faces a five-year driving prohibition. He was sentenced Friday in Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench.

In the spring of 2016, Lambert suffered seizures. He promised his neurologist not to drive until he had been seizure-free for six months.

But in May of that year, he smoked marijuana, then got behind the wheel of his Mercedes C240 and travelled 25 kilometres between Bruderheim and Fort Saskatchewan.

He suffered a seizure while he was speeding along the highway. Lambert ran a red light, then slammed into the back of an SUV being driven by Natalie Hawkins.

The 43-year-old was rushed to hospital. She died a short time later. 

Hawkins was living temporarily in Fort Saskatchewan at the time of her death after fleeing the Fort McMurray wildfires and was just seconds from home when her vehicle was struck. 

Lambert pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death in November 2017, but fired two lawyers and unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw the guilty plea earlier this year while representing himself. 

Todd Lambert speaks to the media outside the Edmonton courthouse in January. (Dave Bajer/CBC )

‘I don’t think he should ever get his licence back’

The victim’s mother attended every court hearing. She’s relieved the case is finally over. 

“It’s just been a big drain on everybody having to go there,” Hilda Hawkins told CBC News in a telephone interview from her home in Bruderheim. “But I couldn’t not go. I had to be there and see it through.”

Hawkins said her family was hoping for a longer sentence and a permanent driving prohibition. 

Hilda Hawkins, mother of victim Natalie Hawkins, speaking to reporters outside the Edmonton courthouse in January. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

“I don’t think he should ever get his licence back,” Hawkins said. “Because one of the excuses he used for killing my daughter is that he had an epileptic fit when he was driving. As far as I know, there’s no cure for that.”

She saw a sheriff lead Lambert away to begin serving his sentence. She’s glad that at least for a while, she won’t face the possibility of running into him in town.

“He’s only about a block and a half away from me,” Hawkins said. “It was nice to know that he wasn’t going to be walking the streets in the town I live in for a while, anyway.”

Lambert spoke to CBC News in late January following a court appearance and admitted he was nervous about going to jail. 

“I have a head injury and stuff like that,” he said. “I’m not the greatest individual to put up with.”

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