Langley RCMP show vehicular damage from the Jan. 18 crash that killed South Surrey's Jim Neiss.

Charge recommended after dump-truck fatality

A criminal charge has been recommended against the driver involved in a fatal dump-truck collision on 16 Avenue last January.

Langley RCMP have recommended a criminal charge be laid against the driver of a dump truck involved in the head-on collision that killed South Surrey resident Jim Neiss.

Const. Bob Johnston confirmed Friday a charge was forwarded to Crown counsel “about a month” ago. He would not say what charge was recommended, citing the ongoing process, and he could not predict when a decision might be made – although he is hopeful it will come “very quickly.”

“It’s kind of in their court right now,” he said. “We’ve provided everything that we could to them as far as the investigation goes.”

Neiss, 59, died just after 5:30 a.m. Jan. 18, when his Ford Explorer was hit head-on in the 19800-block of 16 Avenue by a Sterling dump truck that had crossed a double-yellow line to pass a small white car.

Witnesses reported seeing the truck weaving in and out of traffic in an aggressive manner prior to the collision. The force of the impact compressed the front section of the Explorer into less than half its width.

The dump truck and its driver, a 62-year-old Burnaby man, were virtually unscathed.

The next day, RCMP Supt. Norm Gaumont described the collision as one of the worst he’d seen, and told reporters Neiss “had absolutely no chance.”

Neiss had been headed to Langley at the time, where he had worked as a school bus driver since 2003.

Friday, Johnston remembered the crash as “devastating.”

“It was pretty brutal, something that could have… been totally avoided.”

Pointing to the time frame of the recent trial of Brent Parent – the Langley man accused of running down Abbotsford resident Silas O’Brien on March 13, 2008 – Johnston said it is “not at all” unusual that charges in the Neiss file have not been laid yet.

 

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