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Memorial vandalized after verdict
The cross that marks the spot where a young couple was killed three years ago has been snapped in half.
Korina De Oliviera found both pieces of wood discarded on the ground.
The piece engraved with her step-son John’s name was tossed to one side.
“I put that cross up,” said John De Oliviera Sr., the young man’s father. “It’s been there for three years and nobody has touched it.”
Now it’s broken.
“Somebody grabbed it and sheared it right off. It’s disgraceful.”
De Oliviera intends to replace the wooden cross with a stainless steel one.
Rebecca ‘Beckie’ Dyer, 19, and her boyfriend, Johnny De Oliveira Jr., 21, were killed around midnight Oct. 19. 2010, when a Toyota driven by Andelina Hecimovic skidded sideways over a concrete median, flipped over and landed on top of their Suzuki Swift.
The couple, returning home from a Justin Beiber concert, died instantly.
Hecimovic, now 26, was charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death, but was acquitted two weeks ago, following a week-long trial.
Although Hecimovic was speeding and ran a red light while driving in a right-turn-only lane, the judge found her actions were “simple carelessness,” not criminal.
The not-guilty verdict was devastating for both the De Oliveira and Dyer family.
They want Crown to appeal the judgement and have since recorded a video to drum up public support for a letter-writing campaign targeting the federal and provincial justice ministries.
“We don’t’ feel that there was any justice,” said Debbie Dyer, Beckie’s mother.
“We want people to be upset and mad at the verdict and write their MPs and MLAs and the ministers.”
The roadside memorial at the corner of Harris Road and Lougheed Highway was vandalized soon after the video, titled Lack of Justice, was posted on YouTube.
“I can’t believe someone would do something like that,” said Dyer.