The family of a man killed in a Midland parking lot in 2016 got the chance to address the driver responsible for his death.

Corby Stott’s common-law wife told a Barrie courtroom on Thursday she suffers from post-traumatic stress and can no longer work at her job. 

“In the last 717 days, I have not had one good night’s sleep,” a crying Casey MacKinlay said. “My life will never be the same without him.”

Last month, Jason Heffernan pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death in a collision that claimed the life of Stott in a Walmart parking lot.  Heffernan was visiting Midland as part of a camping trip with his girlfriendand stopped at Walmart for supplies. As they were about to leave the parking lot, Stott and others encountered a 25 minute wait trying to leave the plaza's only exit. 

That's when Stott and Heffernan crossed paths. Stott was fatally injured after falling from the hood of Heffernan's Honda Civic, landing nearly 40 feet away.

Stott died of blunt force trauma to the head. Heffernan was initially charged with second-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

Heffernan addressed the court for the first time on Thursday saying “not a day goes by that I don’t regret my actions that day.”  He went on to say “I know that an apology won’t heal your wounds, but I hope these words bring you some comfort.  I must be held accountable.”

Heffernan’s lawyer argued for a sentence of no more than 27 months, while the Crown is asking for six to eight years.

“Mr. Heffernan could have stopped. He could have done the right thing,” the Crown told the court.

The victim’s grieving mother spoke outside the courtroom saying “just the sentencing, when he goes to jail, will be closure for us.  It won’t bring my son back, but it’ll be closure for the family.”

Heffernan will be back in court on Aug.7 for sentencing.