Cy­clists’ death: $2,000 fine

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL News Staff

An Austin, Texas man charged in the deaths of a Kirk Hill cou­ple cy­cling near Thun­der Bay al­most two years ago has been found guilty of care­less driv­ing and fined $2,000.

That ver­dict was ren­dered dur­ing Ja­son Maxwell’s trial in Thun­der Bay, ac­cord­ing to City of Thun­der Bay Court Ser­vices Su­per­vi­sor Kathy Dal­laire.

Mr. Maxwell, 66, was charged by the Nip­igon On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice Nov. 21, 2013 af­ter Bob Booth, 65, and his wife, Irene, 69, were hit and in­stantly killed in a mul­ti­ve­hi­cle col­li­sion July 23.

The vic­tims, along with 23 other cy­clists, were trav­el­ling east­bound at about 3 p.m. on the Trans-Canada High­way, west of Nip­igon, when they were struck by an east­bound pickup truck, driven by the ac­cused. The truck then hit two west­bound mo­tor ve­hi­cles.

The Booths had been Glen­garry res­i­dents for al­most 30 years, hav­ing moved here from St. Lazare, Québec in the mid-1980s.

Care­less driv­ing is a vi­o­la­tion of the High­way Traf­fic Act (HTA), and there­fore not a crim­i­nal of­fence.

There are two sets of laws (ex­clud­ing mu­nic­i­pal park­ing by­laws) gov­ern­ing driver be­hav­iour – the HTA, which is meant to reg­u­late traf­fic, and the Crim­i­nal Code, which im­poses penal­ties for in­ci­dents caus­ing se­ri­ous harm and crim­i­nal wrong­do­ing.

Most traf­fic of­fences are strict li­a­bil­ity, mean­ing po­lice need only prove the of­fend­ing party broke the law, whether or not he/she in­tended to do so or knew they were do­ing so.

The bur­den of proof is much higher for crim­i­nal of­fences, which al­most al­ways re­quire po­lice to prove crim­i­nal in­tent, or

mens rea – “a guilty mind.” The HTA is, in gen­eral, not meant to pun­ish, but rather, to reg­u­late be­hav­iour.

Hence, a charge of care­less driv­ing – legally de­fined as driv­ing “with­out due care and at­ten­tion” – does not take into con­sid­er­a­tion the in­juries of vic­tims.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.