Driver given $1,800 fine, driving ban for Richmond crash that killed cyclist
Published Tuesday, May 15, 2018 10:04AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 15, 2018 7:00PM PDT
The driver responsible for the 2016 crash that killed cyclist Bradley Dean and left two other people seriously injured has been handed an $1,800 fine.
A provincial court judge also sentenced Michael Wing Sing Fan to a one-year driving ban for the devastating collision, which happened on Richmond's River Road.
Fan pleaded guilty earlier on Tuesday to driving without due care and attention.
The court heard Fan had been out all night, first at a party then at the Starlight Casino in New Westminster, and hadn't slept when he veered over the centre line and plowed into a group of cyclists.
He told police he might have closed his eyes, but didn't nod off behind the wheel.
Before sentencing, Dean's friends and family addressed Fan in court, where they delivered emotional victim impact statements describing the depth of their loss.
The accident was shattering for the deceased's wife, Adele Esnault-Oka, who learned she was pregnant days after his death.
"You stole him from me," Esnault-Oka told Fan. "You killed one man, but you destroyed countless lives."
Dean's mother, Lianne, held a framed photo of her son as she read out her own statement.
"It has been 18 months of indescribable anguish," she said. "I look at my beautiful granddaughter, I see my son, and my heart breaks."
The judge later chided Fan for failing to look at the deceased's parents when they addressed him.
But Fan did offer an apology to Dean's loved ones, which was read by his defence lawyer in court.
"I am forever haunted by your loss," it said. "I struggle to forgive myself for my involvement in this tragedy every day … I will live with this the rest of my life."
The court heard Fan, who recently turned 21 and intends to study occupational therapy at UBC this fall, remained at the scene after the crash, and was distraught but co-operative with police. When he learned someone had died, he threw up.
His sentence was supported by both the defence and Crown. The maximum penalty he could have faced is a $2,000 fine and six months in jail.
That's because Fan was only charged under the Motor Vehicle Act, a decision that greatly upset Dean's family, who twice pleaded to B.C.'s attorney general to review the case and upgrade it to a criminal count.
But the Ministry of Attorney General declined, saying prosecutors made the call after a careful review of the evidence.
At sentencing, the judge noted that Fan's decision to drive while fatigued had grave consequences, and called on other motorists in similar circumstances to get a hotel room or just sleep in their vehicle.
The court also heard Fan had been drinking that night, but only blew a 0.014 when given a breathalyzer test.
Dean's friend, Chris Jameson, was one of the two cyclists left severely injured by the crash, and missed the birth of his own son because of the months he had to spend recovering in hospital. He also delivered a powerful message to the driver in court Tuesday.
"Thank you, Michael Fan, for taking these irreplaceable moments away from me. I hope it was a good party," Jameson said.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Maria Weisgarber
Bradley’s wife Adele has read a victim impact statement. Addressing Michael Fan, she said: “You stole him from me.” “You killed one man, but you destroyed countless lives.” Adele learned she was pregnant after Brad’s death, and now has a young daughter. @CTVVancouver— Maria Weisgarber (@ctv_mariaw) May 15, 2018
— Maria Weisgarber (@ctv_mariaw) May 15, 2018