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

Dr. Lipjob avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

‘The dog picks the job’: Meet the newest member of the Surrey RCMP

Cambria, a labrador-golden retriever mix, is the first victim services dog at the detachment

Cloverdale’s Dan Gibbons remembered for his devotion, humour

Longtime local served with RCMP for more than 35 years

Surrey RCMP say men with gun steal Jeep from mom, daughter

Police say they are looking for video footage, and two South Asian suspects

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Widow’s petition demands mandatory training for truckers

Truck driver Stephen Babij was killed in a head on semi truck collision on Highway 1 in 2017

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

Richmond businesses struggle to hire and keep staff because of high cost of housing

Chamber of commerce calls for diverse housing options, redevelopment of George Massey corridor

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Man pulls over to help injured owl, gets hit by SUV

Chase RCMP say owl flew away while they were on scene

Most Read

l -->