Impaired driving charge approved in crash that killed Mountie
Published Wednesday, September 14, 2016 12:02PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 14, 2016 6:46PM PDT
Months after the crash that killed RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett on Vancouver Island, charges have been laid in the case.
Counts of impaired driving causing death, fleeing from police causing death, dangerous driving causing death, driving with a blood alcohol content above 80 milligrams and refusing to provide a blood sample have been approved against Kenneth Jacob Fenton, the Criminal Justice Branch announced Wednesday.
Officials also confirmed Fenton is currently free on a number of conditions, including that he report to a bail supervisor, surrender his passport, remain in B.C., and abstain from alcohol and non-prescription drugs.
The branch said it will not be commenting further while the case is before the court.
Beckett, a married mother of two, died after a pickup truck T-boned her police cruiser in the early morning hours of April 5 in Langford.
She was 32 years old.
Fenton was taken into custody at the scene, but was released without charges about 24 hours later.
Beckett’s death triggered an outpouring of grief and support from the community. The 11-year veteran of the RCMP was honoured at a regimental funeral the following week that was attended by thousands of people, some of whom travelled from across North America to pay their respects.
Following the announcement of charges in the case, Chief Supt. Ray Bernoties, Island District Commander, issued a brief statement to the public.
“Thank you, once again, to the community for the overwhelming support we have received,” Bernoties said.
B.C.’s police watchdog has also confirmed it is continuing its own investigation into the crash.
The probe was launched about 10 days after the fact, when the Independent Investigations Office received information that Mounties had potentially tried to stop the suspect vehicle before the fatal collision.
“The focus of the investigation is to see if there is a connection between the death of [Beckett] and the action or inaction of officers,” acting director Marten Youssef told CTV News in an email.
Fenton is scheduled to appear in Colwood provincial court on Sept. 29.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Bhinder Sajan