The release of video footage that captured the Dec. 3

Charges still pending in 2012 South Surrey hit-and-run

It's been a year since joggers Shelley Lammers and Nola Carlson were hit in a marked South Surrey crosswalk.

The one-year anniversary of a shocking pedestrian hit-and-run has come and gone with still no charges laid against the driver believed to be responsible.

RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet confirmed Wednesday that while investigators recommended charges last month in connection with the Dec. 3, 2012 incident that seriously injured joggers Shelley Lammers and Nola Carlson, Crown counsel has yet to determine exactly what charges will go forward.

Failure to remain at the scene of an accident is likely; dangerous driving causing bodily harm is another possibility.

“Charges are likely, they just have not been finalized at this point,” Paquet said. “Whether they’ll be under the Motor Vehicle Act or under the Criminal Code is still to be confirmed.”

Three days after the South Surrey collision, police announced the arrest of a 53-year-old Surrey man and the seizure of a BMW X1. Both were located at a residence not far from the collision scene.

Lammers and Carlson, who were wearing reflective clothing and headlamps, were hit just before 8 p.m. on the night in question, as they jogged across 152 Street at 32 Avenue. A traffic camera recorded the impact and – about 25 seconds later – a figure on foot approach the women and lean over them before rapidly departing.

Lammers, a Delta resident, suffered a collapsed lung, two broken vertebrae, a lacerated liver, a concussion and fractured ribs. Carlson’s injuries included a broken nose and cheekbone.

Two days later, Carlson described the fact that the driver left the scene as “heinous.”

“I’m appalled and I’m frightened – what’s the world coming to when these kinds of accidents happen and drivers just leave the person lying there?” she told Peace Arch News.

Neither Lammers nor Carlson, a South Surrey resident, have commented publicly since.

Paquet said Wednesday that the video footage was instrumental in identifying a suspect. Investigators’ phones started ringing as soon as it hit the news, he said.

While the media attention did not prompt the driver to contact police, it did trigger the memory of a witness who “noted odd behaviour of one person” and remembered a licence-plate number.

Paquet said that despite public expectations for quick justice fueled by such television shows as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – which detail crimes committed and solved in short order – in reality, those investigations take much longer.

“In cases where the injuries are severe or fatality is involved… it involves so much work behind the scenes,” he said. “We want to ensure for quick and accurate process that our report is thorough, but it’s also something we owe to the victims and their families. The last thing we want is having unnecessary court delays, court seeking additional details or clarification, or a worst-case scenario – having the charges stayed because our report is not complete.”

It’s not as simple as “go to the accident, take a couple of pictures, talk to the bad guy and we’re done,” Paquet said.

“We owe it to the families to do the best job that we can, not the quickest one.”

He noted the statute of limitations for laying charges in criminal matters leaves the door open for “years.”

Likely contributing to the length of time for this investigation is the sheer volume of cases currently being handled by the Mounties’ Criminal Collision Investigative Team. Paquet said that with 16 motor vehicle-related fatalities to date – seven of them pedestrians – 2013 has been “one of their busiest years on record.”

In the South Surrey file, more than 20 witnesses were interviewed, not including police and first-responders. As well, investigators looked into cellphone, medical and other records – each of which required official authorization to ensure privacy and information-disclosure laws were followed.

Paquet said that once Crown approves charges, the accused will be served with those details and an order to appear in court. He will not be re-arrested.

Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie was unable to provide an update on the status of Crown’s review by PAN’s deadline Wednesday afternoon.

He did note that if it takes police 11 months to forward a report to Crown, “it’s not usually something that will necessarily be reviewed in a couple of days by us.”

 

Just Posted

Dog rescued from South Surrey house fire

Firefighters dispatched to 19400-block of 0 Avenue

Surrey developer says second Central City office tower doesn’t need to be taller

Application for second 25-storey tower at mall sent back to staff by Surrey council for being ‘way too low’

Minor injuries after South Surrey student struck in school crosswalk

Collision ‘a reminder to drivers, pedestrians to take safety seriously’

Rec centre staff honoured for their help to revive teen who collapsed in weight room

BC Emergency Health Services presented Vital Link awards to four City of Surrey employees on Sunday

Surrey tops list of most delayed, congested TransLink bus routes

TransLink says delays are costing $75 million a year

Police watchdog seeking ‘key witness’ in Taser incident along Vancouver seawall

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. looking for woman who was sitting nearby with dog

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

VIDEO: Depth and scoring lacking for Vancouver Giants this season: Coach

G-Men defeated on home ice Sunday by Victoria – next up Everett on Friday

Most Read

l -->