Sentence for Death of Cyclist

Discussion in 'Community & General Offtopic Banter' started by Dude, May 16, 2018 at 7:49 AM.

  1. Dude

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    The judgment came down yesterday in the death of Brad Dean in 2016.

    http://www.theprovince.com/news/cri...accused+gets+fine+driving/17420080/story.html

    For those of you unfamiliar or who have been living under a rock, Dean was killed in the fall of 2016 while out on a small group ride in Richmond, River Road.

    As a member of the cycling and racing community (at the time, I am not racing these days), it hit hard and rocked our community big time. Everyone trains out on River Road, I bet my son is there at least twice / month riding. I didn't know Brad well personally, but everyone knew who he was. I've raced against him; like most guys, super competitive on the road, and super chill off. A good dude, and he left behind his wife, who shortly after found out she was pregnant with brad's child (she gave birth to a little girl).

    You really couldn't write it any worse.

    I don't know a lot about the exact circumstances of the driver, and how he was able to cross over so far to run down the group. I know he was 21 years old, and stopped when it occurred, stayed behind to face the authorities, and later plead guilty to the charges against. I don't know him, but I can only imagine that this incident will have changed this young man, and it will haunt him for the rest of his life.

    This is a non-cycling forum, so I'm curious out there as to the opinions, and bring them all. I know that cyclist don't often help themselves in the community. I get it.

    Wanna hear opinions on the sentencing (Fair? should it have been more? Were the charges appropriate?), but also, philosophically, is the driver paying his debt to society? I know exactly what the cycling community thinks....

    Here is the history if you aren't familiar: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/cycling-crash-victim-remembered-1.3840965
     
  2. cascadesoccer

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    The article didn’t give much information on how the crash occurred which can certainly hinder a proper response. However if you pleaded guilty to reckless driving causing death, you certainly deserve your ban but also some time in jail. The fine is insulting and is truly another scar on the already weak and tarnished justice system in this country. You get more jail time for marijuana or theft, than murder. Our justice system also is a slap in the face to all the officers who work hard to stop criminals just to have garbage like this happen. Thoughts are certainly with this gentleman’s family and friends.
     
  3. Dude

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    You are right, this may be a more unbiased article.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/richmond-cyclists-accident-1.3839054

    Here's the issue I'm having with this: you are right about the other charges involving higher punishments, I guess my question here is, what would the maximum jail sentence (6 months I think it said) accomplish?

    I have to be very careful on something like FB, because this opinion will hurt a lot of feelings of members very, very close to this...but I sincerely get the idea that sending this kid to jail would do more harm than good. Just a hunch more than anything. My feeling is he was an inexperienced driver, and fcuked up big time, and is now living with a death on his hands. Does jail do anything? I'm surprised that is wasn't the maximum fine, and surprised there doesn't appear to be community service there. I don't think you could send this guy to the cycling community for the community service, that would almost be cruel.
     
  4. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to have to agree with you here @Dude regarding would sending him to jail for six months accomplish anything. It would appear that the driver had no past record of criminal behavior and, in court, submitted that he does volunteer work, etc. I am no expert and will not profess to be, but, based on the reporting and the pictures in the article, it looks like there is a pretty solid turn in the road right around where the collision occurred and it sounds like there have been incidents in this area before. No reference to drugs or alcohol and no one else in the car. If I had to bet I would say a young, inexperienced driver, likely going a little to fast and not understanding the power of the vehicle he was operating (that Lexus is a pretty robust machine) lost control slightly going around that corner. Maybe eight or nine times out of ten he would have gotten away with it and just corrected back into his lane, but not this time and the results were catastrophic.

    According to the article, the evidence from the investigation will never be made public, so it is difficult to fully pass judgment. The judge in the case seemed to empathize with the victim's family, but was bound by the legislation under which the offender was prosecuted. Should the defendant have been charged criminally? Tough to say. I am not sure what burden of proof the Crown would have had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to get a conviction, but it would certainly be a much higher standard than that which they need to meet under the Motor Vehicle Act. Of course, like it or not, there is also the cost implications given that a criminal case would certainly be more expensive to prosecute and take longer given that it is unlikely a plea would have been reached.

    Overall it comes back to: does the punishment fit the crime? While my heart breaks for the unimaginable tragedy that the victim's family has endured, a criminal conviction/jail time is not going to bring their loved one back. While there is obviously a strong desire to see an "eye for an eye" type of punishment, as you say above, is it worth ruining another life? He will carry this on his conscious forever and that is a burden I do not envy. I try to put myself in those shoes, would I, at age 21, want one terrible mistake to ruin my life, or if it were my kid who was driving, would I want his freedom taken away for what appears to have been an accident? Again, we don't know a ton about the defendant. Maybe he is gaming the system here; maybe he lives a privileged life an is "buying his way out", perhaps another defendant without the same opportunities may have been treated differently by our justice system. I am not going to make any wide ranging, broad generalizations about the guy or his personal life, but I do look at the vehicle he was driving and I can't help but think of how many young drivers I see operating very powerful vehicles and I wonder what sort of training these kids have been given. I remember when I was first learning to drive my dad made it very clear to me to always remember that I was essentially handling a 5000lb weapon and to act accordingly. I often wonder how much today's young drivers are aware of just how quickly things can go horribly wrong while doing an activity, driving, that has become so routine.
     
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  5. Dude

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    It's a tough one for me. I've been hit by a car, and although for me I fully recovered from the injuries (a few scars), at the time, I felt I was following the rules of the road exactly as intended, and the guy simply turned into me. Didn't look. A mistake, sure, but I felt he should have been held to a higher punishment than what he did get at the time: a ticket. That was in 1991, times have changed a lot, and that incident has made me a way better cyclist, too. I will also say, I have been lucky WAY too many times. Road riding is far more dangerous than the mountain, where the only variable is me.

    I digress....

    From the evidence available to us as readers- and from what I've been told through the community- your read on this is pretty bang on. My son is 18, driving a lot now, and I don't want him to ever have to learn this lesson, as a driver. Sounds like it was a mistake of inexperience, not malice or even distracted driving. No booze, no drugs. Probably a kid that got going too fast. A lot of cars go WAY too fast along River, he's not alone in that department.

    I hope and chose to believe that all the evidence was taken into account at the scene. The police that came to the scene were apparently quite distraught, and obviously his fellow riding mates. It was ugly. Your friend is dead. The police here had a very tough job, then prosecution beyond that a tough job. I definitely feel for Brad's spouse, his parents, and his daughter having to grow up without a father. If the kid had broken some laws to make this criminal (impairment, malice, or even distracted driving) I'd be holding a pitchfork, too, along with what seems to be the rest of the riding community...but I can't in this case. The kid will have to live with Brad's death on his hands. He otherwise seems to be a productive member of society. I don't see that jail time is going to fix him any more than he's already had to fix himself to this point.
     
  6. Dude

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    "I remember when I was first learning to drive my dad made it very clear to me to always remember that I was essentially handling a 5000lb weapon and to act accordingly."

    EXACT same thing my dad impressed upon me, but he called it a 10,000 lbs weapon. Point being, we are driving killing machines. I truly think growing up as a road cyclist for years before learning to drive made me a far better driver. You tend to look at the road differently, and way more defensively, when the only things protecting you are lycra, super cool shades, and a helmet designed to take one hit and shatter on impact.
     
  7. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

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    Ya...they don't make cars out of metal anymore #DatingYourself :D

    Honestly though, they way the world we live in is now, driving is a necessity, especially in North America. Maybe if you live in the city centre you can get away with just walking/biking/transit but if you are in the suburbs, even just going to the store for a few basic items likely requires a car. Getting the kids to school/activities? Visiting family? Going out on the weekends? All activities that pretty much require being able to drive and, despite how routine and commonplace it is now, driving is not easy. I see drivers on the road that look unsure of themselves and uncomfortable, where it looks like the car is in control of them rather than the other way around, everyday and those drivers are just as dangerous as the overconfident/naïve ones that are doing 200+ over the Lions Gate. Many are new immigrants from major European or Asian cities where they never needed to drive, but now they are forced to in order to maintain a certain quality of life. Then their kids grow up and they are supposed to be the ones teaching them how to drive when they can barely do a passable job of it themselves? That doesn't seem like a system set up for success if you ask me...
     
  8. Rangerforever

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    I thought I heard he had been out all night or stayed up all night or something like that and hadn't slept?

    He stayed around, didn't flee the scene, has cooperated with authorities, and has plead his case as he's entitled to.
    As an apparent decent member of society, at that stage you just have to trust the system is my two bits.

    Sad though and I feel for the victims.
     
  9. Sir M

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    You don't get more of a sentence for marijuana or theft than murder. You rarely if ever get a sentence at all for marijuana in BC unless very aggravated, and actually rarely get jail time for theft. Murder is life imprisonment in Canada (at least it says so in the Criminal Code). So while the marijuana/theft vs murder sentiment is something I get there, exaggeration and inaccuracy doesn't help any argument. I won't comment on the sentence on this tragedy, only to say that the main principles in sentencing are prevention, rehabilitation, and deterrence, with specific and also general deterrence supposed to be considered by a judge. These days in the Criminal Justice System, the biggest principle is rehabilitation (like it or not). For those with little exposure to the system, and not that it does or even remotely should apply to this case, it is interesting that one principle that is not considered is "payback" or even "revenge" which is a misconception that some people have; I think it goes back to the old "eye for an eye" maxim. This particular case is an unmitigated tragedy, but sadly, the justice system deals with awful tragedies on a daily basis.
     
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  10. Dude

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    RF, this is where I fall. I'd heard the same, but it is innuendo at this point. If true, a mitigating factor, or simply put, a mistake a young kid made. Same mistake many of us have made, but never had an accident leading to a tragedy like this to expose our mistakes.

    For the most part, I think they got this one right. That opinion is not prevalent in the cycling community right now. Dare I say "pitchforks" are out, but that's what it feels like.
     
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  11. Rangerforever

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    Fair enough if it was innuendo bud.
    I didn't know that, only that I thought I had heard it on the news was all.
    And, I wasn't necessarily commenting one way or another, only that it could have been a big factor that seemed to be unmentioned here.
     
  12. Dude

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    Nah I heard the same. I just don’t know if that detail has ever actually come out. Either way....

    Yeah would definitely be a factor. I think obviously the overwhelming factor is inexperience. I can’t imagine, myself. Being in either his shoes or Brad’s loved ones shoes.
     
  13. dutch13

    dutch13 Active Member

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    Brad was in my MBA class 6 years ago. One of those genuinely (borderline frustratingly too) nice/good guys. One of the smartest in the class as well. I think he was a teacher, who decided to get into finance - had a bright future. Feel for the family for sure. Tough to take the bias out of it, but as you said will this punishment suit the crime? I'm hoping the kid feels remorse that he'll have to deal with for the rest of his life, what will sitting in jail, do to better him or society (at the cost of society). As you mentioned, community service? Advocating for safe driving programs by sharing his story in high schools?

    You could argue the merits of jail time for a lot of offenders isn't a productive use of resources in society. But you have those arguing for the rights of criminals...
     

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