Investigation of deadly hit-and-run will take months

Name of 37-year-old won’t be released during criminal investigation

It could take months for police to investigate and formulate whether charges can be brought against a Surrey RCMP consultant suspected in the hit-and-run that killed a 37-year-old Langley man on Wednesday.

It will also take the same amount of time for the victim’s name to be released, said B.C. Coroner Service’s Robert Fisher.

The names of deceased aren’t released while criminal investigations are going on, he said.

“On the surface, alcohol doesn’t appear to be an issue here,” said Surrey RCMP Sgt. Drew Grainger of the hit and run.

But Surrey Mounties are still looking for witnesses to report on the behaviour of the semi driver before the hit and run and after, he said.

The alleged driver involved is an RCMP consultant, who had been working on a Surrey fatal crash involving one of their own officers.

“The initial investigation has determined that the driver is an expert civilian witness and consultant who is contracted by law enforcement and other public safety agencies throughout the region,” said Grainger last week (Aug. 7), after police had found the semi and arrested the accused.

“In fact, earlier that day and prior to the accident occurring, this consultant was working with the Surrey RCMP traffic section on an ongoing traffic investigation.”

The consultant allegedly driving the semi involved in the fatal hit and run had been working that day on a re-creation of an accident involving a semi that killed Surrey RCMP Const. Adrian Oliver in November 2012, at the intersection of 64 Avenue and 148 Street.

He was speeding through the intersection in an unmarked police car without using sirens. Vancouver Police are assisting with that continued investigation.

The consultant was travelling eastbound in the curb lane in the 19500 block of Langley Bypass when he struck and killed the 37-year-old pedestrian. Surrey RCMP say the semi driver didn’t stop to render assistance but kept driving.

The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police put out a description of the older model blue semi cab to the media and by mid-afternoon, Surrey RCMP had located and seized the truck. The driver of the vehicle was located and was questioned by Surrey RCMP that same day.

“Because of the complexity of this case, given the driver of the semi is an expert civilian consultant working with the Surrey RCMP at the time, we have sought an independent police force to “observe” our investigation,” said Grainger.

While the Independent Investigation Office of B.C. was created last year to investigate police-related incidents involving death or serious harm, it doesn’t investigate civilian members or police consultants, said IIO’s Kellie Kilpatrick.

However, the Police Act does make provisions for the Attorney General or the Director of Police Services to order an investigation. That hasn’t happened in this case.

Investigators are also looking for witnesses to offer information about the pedestrian’s behaviour before the crash, said Grainger.

Anyone with further information on this incident is asked to contact Surrey RCMP Traffic Services at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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