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Sister of pedestrian killed in White Rock police pursuit doesn’t blame officer

Lynné McCutcheon shows photos of her sister Marilyn Laursen following the sentencing of the driver who struck and killed the 56-year-old in White Rock. - File
Lynné McCutcheon shows photos of her sister Marilyn Laursen following the sentencing of the driver who struck and killed the 56-year-old in White Rock.
— image credit: File

The sister of a woman who was struck and killed in a White Rock crosswalk nearly three years ago by a driver being pursued by police says she does not blame her sibling’s death on the officer involved.

Lynné McCutcheon made the comment in Surrey Provincial Court this week, during a break in what was the first day of a preliminary inquiry to determine if evidence against Const. David Bickle is enough to warrant a criminal trial in the matter.

“My family just needs this to end,” McCutcheon told Peace Arch News Tuesday.

Charges against Bickle, who joined the White Rock RCMP detachment in 2009, were announced in August 2012.

The charges – dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm – followed a Vancouver Police Department investigation into the officer’s actions immediately prior to Marilyn Laursen’s death.

Laursen, 56, was killed on May 18, 2011, as she crossed Johnston Road at Thrift Avenue. She was struck by a car driven by Kyle Brandon Danyliuk, who – the court heard during sentencing – was fleeing police at the time.

Danyliuk, a South Surrey resident, is serving a two-year sentence after pleading guilty to four charges, including dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

In the news release announcing charges against Bickle, the VPD alleged that the officer’s “actions and failure to follow the numerous federal and provincial guidelines regarding pursuit driving contributed to the death of a pedestrian.”

A publication ban prevents the disclosure of any evidence heard during this week’s inquiry, which was scheduled for three days. Judge Paul Dohm was to hear from about nine witnesses over the course of the proceedings.

Bickle, who was placed on administrative duties the same day that charges were laid, was supported in court by a number of people, including fellow officers.

His current duty status is “operational.” Whether he is still with the White Rock detachment could not be confirmed by PAN press deadline Wednesday.

McCutcheon, who lives in Princeton, said she decided to attend the inquiry in order to learn more about what happened the night her sister died.

“There was never a trial for Kyle,” she said.

While difficult to relive what happened, McCutcheon said it was important for her to be there for Laursen’s sake.

“She’d be here for me,” she said.

 

 

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