April 5/16- A serious motor vehicle incident on Peatt Road at Goldstream Avenue involving RCMP officer Const. Sarah Beckett occurred at around 3:30 a.m. April 5. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)

ICBC retracts claim that late Vancouver Island Mountie was negligent in drunk driver crash

ICBC suggested Beckett’s negligence in response to civil court claim

The Insurance Corporation of B.C. is retracting a claim that West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett was negligent when she was killed after being struck by a drunk driver who sped through a red light in 2016.

In an effort to recoup costs of Beckett’s damaged RCMP cruiser, the Attorney General of Canada filed a civil claim against Fenton and his insurer, ICBC, in March 2018.

An ICBC response came about two months later, denying facts in the claim and saying the “sole, proximate and direct cause of such collision and such personal injuries, loss, expense or damage was the negligence of the deceased Const. Sarah Beckett.”

On Friday afternoon, after a request for comment, ICBC said the decision to suggest Beckett was liable for the crash was a mistake.

“We’re deeply sorry,” the statement from ICBC says. “We are taking immediate steps to fix this error. We will be instructing our cousel to amend that defence to admit the defendant is fully liable for this accident.”

Beckett, a 32-year-old mother of two boys, had recently returned from maternity leave when she was killed in the line of duty in Langford.

Kenneth Jacob Fenton was handed a four year prison sentence in July, 2017 for charges of impaired driving and dangerous driving causing death.

READ ALSO: Driver convicted in death of Const. Sarah Beckett granted partial parole

Beckett was killed after her police cruiser was struck by Fenton’s pickup truck which was speeding through the intersection of Peatt Road and Goldstream Avenue.

Fenton’s blood-alcohol level was three-and-a-half times the legal limit. He was already being pursued by an RCMP officer in a different police vehicle because his taillights were not illuminated and he was travelling almost double the 50 kilometre per hour posted speed limit.

ICBC accused Beckett of “failing to keep a proper or any lookout,” “failing to see the defendant’s motor vehicle at a reasonable time,” “failing to give warning by sounding the horn,” and other allegations of neglect.

In the response, ICBC said Beckett had a duty of care to Fenton and to others using the highway.

“The act of colliding with the vehicle operated by the defendant, Kenneth Jacob Fenton, and owned by the defendant, Kenneth Jacob Fenton, was a breach of that duty.”

A statement from West Shore RCMP Insp. Todd Preston said the detachment is aware of the civil suit and the response filed by ICBC.

“On our end we remain deeply affected by the loss of our friend and respected colleague, Sarah,” Preston said. “The timing of this story coming out so close to Christmas leaves myself and the membership of West Shore RCMP saddened.”

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Directional traffic change coming to one-way street beside McLeod Elementary

This change will be in effect starting Monday, Oct. 5.

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read