Driver Fined $1,800 in Campground Triple Fatality
Ying H. Chen of Surrey was sentenced Nov. 17 in Provincial Court in Grand Forks, British Columbia, to a $1,800 fine and a 15-month driving prohibition under the Motor Vehicle Act, the Grand Forks Gazette reported.
Chen pleaded guilty to charges of driving without due care and attention in connection with the June 18, 2009 accident, which took the lives of three pedestrians beside the Kettle River RV Park.
His vehicle crossed into the oncoming lane and entered a roadside rural post box area where five pedestrians were walking. The vehicle struck three of the pedestrians who died at the scene.
Deceased were Hazel Lisowik, 63, and her husband Richard Lisowik, 68, of Rock Creek. They had lived at the RV Park for the past several years and were managers since 2007. Also killed in the accident was Stephen Gilsenan, 57, of Maruba, Australia. Gilsenan was visiting the Lisowiks, along with his wife and son, who were walking with the three deceased at the time of the accident, but were uninjured.
Phillip Seagram, with the Crown Prosecutor’s office in Nelson, was the prosecutor in what he called an absolutely tragic case.
“It was a shockingly tragic, almost unbelievable set of circumstances that led to this accident,” said Seagram. “The evidence is quite clear that he fell asleep at the wheel.”
Seagram said that although Chen was not required by the court to make a statement of remorse, he did so.
“He turned towards the people that were in court and he offered quite a lengthy, thoughtful and appropriate apology to the two families that were affected by this tragedy,” said Seagram.
The 2009 Ford Ranger being driven by Chen was equipped with a black box that recorded the speed at the time air bags were deployed as only slightly over the posted speed of 100 kilometres an hour.
Chen was 25 years old at the time he was charged on May 19, 2010.