Loading ...

Kelowna father grieving son’s death says charge won’t provide justice


The family of a Kelowna toddler who was hit by a car is about to mark a sombre anniversary.

It’s been nearly a year since 15-month-old Gaige Banman died.

Although a charge has now been laid in connection with the case, Gaige’s father Mark Banman says it won’t bring his family justice.

“He was an amazing little boy. He was 15 months old. He was our little bulldozer,” said Banman.

“We miss him a lot. We don’t get to see a lot of his firsts, don’t get to see him go to kindergarten.”

Read more: Family of Kelowna toddler killed by allegedly drunk driver pleads for justice

The toddler was found in the driveway of the family’s McCurdy Road home after he was hit by a vehicle in April 2020.

In February a single charge was laid in connection with the incident that left Gaige dead.

John Pyziak is charged with operation of a vehicle while impaired

However, Banman said he feels like the justice system is failing his family.

Banman feels prosecutors should have pursued a more serious charge related to impaired driving causing death.

Read more: Support pours in for Kelowna family of toddler fatally struck by car

“We feel there is no accountability,” said Banman.

“He was 15 months old. His life mattered and we’d like to see somebody be held accountable for that.”

The BC Prosecution Service said operation while impaired was the only charge Crown counsel concluded met the province’s charge assessment standard.

That standard requires prosecutors to look at whether there is a substantial likelihood of conviction and if the prosecution would be in the public interest.

Click to play video: Kelowna family calling for justice for toddler allegedly killed by drunk driver

However, with no charge directly connected to Gaige’s death, the family is feeling like their son isn’t getting the day in court he deserves.

“I would just like to see some justice for our son,” Banman said.

Pyziak’s case is in court in Kelowna on Monday.

He’s scheduled for a first appearance.

None of the allegations against him have been tested in court.