Victim's family relieved after one charge against White Rock officer dropped

Police recover the vehicle that struck and killed White Rock pedestrian Marilyn Laursen (below). - File photo
Police recover the vehicle that struck and killed White Rock pedestrian Marilyn Laursen (below).
— image credit: File photo

A White Rock police officer who was charged following the 2011 hit-and-run incident that killed pedestrian Marilyn Laursen will not be tried in connection with the 56-year-old's death.

But Const. David Bickle will still be going to trial.

Following a preliminary inquiry this week into the case against Bickle, prosecutor Steven Black advised the court he would be directing a stay of proceedings on a charge of dangerous driving causing death.

Marilyn LaursenIt was one of two charges announced against the officer in August 2012, following a Vancouver Police Department investigation into the events leading up to Laursen's death.

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.”

After hearing submissions from Black and defence counsel G.Jack Harris – along with the evidence of several witnesses – Judge Paul Dohm ordered Bickle to stand trial in B.C. Supreme Court on the second charge against him, of dangerous driving causing bodily harm, in relation to injuries suffered by the driver of a car struck during the pursuit.

A publication ban prevents disclosure of any of the evidence or submissions heard during the inquiry, which several of Bickle's co-workers and Laursen's sister and brother-in-law – Lynné and Neale McCutcheon – attended.

Outside court Thursday morning, Lynné McCutcheon hugged Bickle, then described the stay of proceedings on the more serious charge as a relief. It means her family can finally move forward, she said.

"I'm glad it's kind of behind me," she told Peace Arch News.

"I just feel bad for David that he has to face another trial."

The driver who struck and killed Laursen, Kyle Brandon Danyliuk, is currently serving a two-year sentence, after pleading guilty to four charges in connection with the incident.

The McCutcheons said they do not plan to attend Bickle's trial, the date for which is to be set during a March 27 appearance in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.



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