Kashtin singer Claude McKenzie has been sentenced to nine months in jail for injuring an 11-year-old girl while he was driving drunk. McKenzie, 27, was also sentenced to three years probation and was barred from driving for six years at a court hearing in Sept-Iles on May 16.
The incident occurred August 21, 1993, in the Innu community of Mani-Utenam. The girl, who has recovered from her injuries, was hit as McKenzie returned from his ex-girlfriend’s house after watching videos.
“Since the accident, I’ve had a hard time sleeping,” he said in court as tears streamed down his face. “My father [who kicked alcohol 20 years ago] tried to help me but I’m really pig-headed.”
At the time of the accident, McKenzie’s blood had an alcohol level three times the legal limit. He testified that he has a serious problem with alcohol, according to a report in La Presse. After getting treatment for the problem in April 1993, he started drinking again when his son died.
Florent Voilant, the other half of Kashtin, said the group will survive despite his friend’s problems. The Innu duo’s new album is still scheduled to be released in September.