A White Rock RCMP officer has been charged with dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm in connection with the 2011 hit-and-run death of pedestrian Marilyn Laursen.
The charges against Const. David Bickle were announced by the Vancouver Police Department Monday morning. They followed an investigation conducted at the request of the RCMP.
Laursen, 56, died around 10 p.m. May 18, 2011, after she was struck while crossing Thrift Avenue at Johnston Road.
The driver of the car that hit Laursen – Kyle Brandon Danyliuk – pleaded guilty in February to four charges in connection with her death. He is scheduled to be sentenced in Surrey Provincial Court next month.
According to the VPD, the collision occurred while Bickle was allegedly in pursuit of the vehicle, after Danyliuk failed to stop for him on Marine Drive. The pursuit continued eastbound on Buena Vista Avenue, then north on Johnston Road, a VPD release states.
Danyliuk’s vehicle ultimately sideswiped another vehicle on Johnston Road before running a red light at Thrift Avenue, striking Laursen and fleeing the scene.
“The results of the investigation allege that RCMP Const. David Bickle’s actions and failure to follow the numerous federal and provincial guidelines regarding pursuit driving contributed to the death of a pedestrian,” the VPD statement notes.
Those guidelines prohibit pursuits unless the seriousness of the offence outweighs the risk to the public.
The VPD was asked to investigate Bickle’s actions immediately following the collision.
At the time, Bickle had served two years with the RCMP, all of that time in White Rock.
The night Laursen was killed, Bickle had been working alone, in full uniform and operating a marked police vehicle.
It is unclear if Bickle is still on duty in White Rock. Calls to RCMP E-Division were not returned by Peace Arch News deadline Monday, and White Rock Staff Sgt. Lesli Roseberry would not comment.
(UPDATE: RCMP confirmed Monday afternoon that Const. Bickle was placed on administrative duties on the same day that charges were laid – Aug. 27. The circumstances are also the subject of an internal Code of Conduct investigation.)
Bickle is due to make his first appearance in Surrey Provincial Court on Oct. 9.