Drunk driving or going over the speed limit is often the reason for accidents involving multiple injuries and even lethal outcome for people in other vehicles and pedestrians. In some cases, justice is fast and uncompromising, but unfortunately, there are cases where it takes years for a court to set a verdict or even to punish the criminal. Majority of such cases are the ones involving an active or a former police officer. Justin Holtz is of five Winnipeg Police officers involved and charged with drunken driving incidents, some involving deadly outcomes.
Eleven months ago an off-duty Winnipeg police officer was involved in a fatal hit and run incident, that left a big family without their role model. Cody Severight was hit and killed by a vehicle driven by a 34-year-old constable Justin Holtz.
Cody was walking across Main Street approximately at 8 p.m. on October 10th of 2017 when this terrible incident occurred. Immediately after this Holtz fled the scene and didn’t even try to help the victim.
As per investigation an alcohol and driving over the speed limit are the factors in this tragedy. Justin Holtz faced multiple charges from driving caused death and fleeing the scene to dangerous driving with blood alcohol level over the limit.
Its been under a year now, there were few hearings set, but Holtz never appeared in the courtroom, sending his lawyer instead every time to represent his interests and speak for him in front of the judge and victim`s family members. Cody had a large family, that showed up at every scheduled hearing demanding justice and looking to meet Holtz to even see how he looks like. Some family members just want to look into his eyes as he explains what happened and how he got behind the wheel while drunk.
Winnipeg police started an internal investigation and few officers were appointed to help with all the procedures. As per Winnipeg Police spokesperson, two officers were put on paid leave one week after the crash as they failed to perform a breathalyzer test on fellow officer Justin Holtz, the test was administered three or even four hours after the incident. It has become known to press, that suspended officer had returned to service and fully reinstated, police representative failed to answer when they have returned to their duty. Meanwhile victims family continue to come over to court, hoping to see officer Holtz and keeps calling for justice.
Two of Severight `s brothers were in jail when the funeral was held, so they couldn’t attend the last ceremony, they speak were dearly about Cody and regret not being there to say goodbye to their role model.
Cody`s girlfriend, a 21-year-old Jasmine Kithithee, cried for a couple of days straight, said its hard for her to find words to describe the loss of her beloved one. They were dating for six years and he made her happy every day, Jasmine said. Overtime of their relationship she became a family member of Cody`s big family and now they are grieving together and demand justice.
This year on October 10th family planning a vigil to remember and honor Cody Severight.