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Driver fined after pedestrian killed in parking lot

By: Amy Crofts

  |  Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 04:45 pm

FINE FOR FATALITY – The driver of this Honda CRV has had her licence suspended and will pay a $2,000 fine after a fatal collision with a pedestrian in February.
FINE FOR FATALITY – The driver of this Honda CRV has had her licence suspended and will pay a $2,000 fine after a fatal collision with a pedestrian in February.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

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The driver of an SUV involved in a fatal vehicle-pedestrian collision in February will pay a $2,000 fine and have her licence suspended for three months.

Marlene Lewis, 70, pleaded guilty to failure to back up in a safe manner, a violation under the Traffic Safety Act, in St. Albert court Monday.

On Feb. 18 around 2:50 p.m., RCMP were called to the McDonald's restaurant at 369 St. Albert Trail where a Honda CRV had struck a 79-year-old pedestrian.

When EMS arrived, the female pedestrian was lying in a fetal position behind the vehicle, stated police notes. She was unconscious but breathing.

Witnesses said the pedestrian was walking with a group of elderly people behind the vehicle toward the restaurant when the vehicle started to back up. After being hit by the vehicle, the woman fell to the ground and bumped her head.

Lewis, a St. Albert resident, was identified as the driver of the SUV.

The 79-year-old pedestrian was transported to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. She died of her injuries a week later.

Lewis’ defence counsel described the event as “a freak set of circumstances” in which Lewis was not driving at a high speed and the elderly victim could have been in her blind spot.

Court heard that Lewis has had a clean driving record for 40 years. The 70-year-old St. Albert resident holds a parking placard for persons with disabilities because of two hip replacements and nerve damage to one of her feet.

Lewis’ defence counsel fought the Crown on a 90-day licence suspension, stating that taking away her licence couldn’t compare to the punishment she is undergoing – she has to live with the guilt that her actions caused another life to end.

“I would like to say how sorry I am to the family I caused this grief to,” said a tearful Lewis in court. “I will live with this to the day I die and I can’t change it.”

Judge Bruce Garriock sentenced Lewis to pay a $2,000 fine and suspended her driver’s licence for 90 days.

“It was an extremely tragic situation,” he said.

The purpose of the suspension is not to further punish Lewis, but instead a general message of deterrence and denunciation to the public, he said.

Lewis handed over her driver’s licence in court. The Crown withdrew a charge of careless driving.


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