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Impaired driving charges laid nearly one year after young Surrey athlete's death

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Charges have been approved against a Surrey woman nearly a year after young student and athlete Kassandra Kaulius died in a suspected drunk driving accident, where the driver is alleged to have tried to flee before being arrested.

Natasha Leigh Warren, 34, is charged with dangerous driving causing death, impaired driving causing death, cause an accident resulting in death, and failure to stop at an accident causing bodily harm, in connection to the May 3, 2011 accident.

Mounties said the lengthy investigation required numerous experts to uncover evidence, including a re-enactment of the accident itself.

"This has been a very complex and labour intensive investigation," said Sgt. Drew Grainger.

The 22-year-old Kaulius died on scene after her BMW was struck by a van that sped through a red light and collided with the car's driver-side door. Police said a woman left the van and tried to run away before Mounties chased her down.

Less than two weeks after the accident, the superintendent of motor vehicles prohibited that woman from driving for one year.

The family of the victim has since founded Families for Justice, a group of relatives who have lost loved ones to impaired or aggressive drivers. The family has also called for mandatory jail time for impaired driving and impaired driving causing death.

When reached by phone Wednesday morning, Kaulius' sister, Miranda, said the family is still learning the details, and could be expected to comment in the afternoon.

"We have a meeting with the prosecutors this afternoon. We've heard that (charges were laid), but we have a meeting to find out all the details," she said.