B.C. provincial court has found a 25-year-old man guilty of driving without due care and attention in a crash that led to the death of a popular retired police officer near Nanaimo.
Conrad Nikolaus Wetten, then 23, was driving a Ford pickup truck and heading southbound along Cedar Road on Dec. 22, 2018, when he crashed into a Chevrolet pickup that was travelling northbound, killing Shinder Kirk, a retired Abbotsford Police Sgt., who was with his family at the time of the crash.
On June 23, following trials held in May and earlier this month, provincial court Judge Karen Whonnock found Wettan guilty of driving without due care when he failed to navigate the turn in the road and his truck ended up in the wrong lane — ultimately striking Kirk’s vehicle and killing him.
Judge Whonnock said that momentary lapse and brief moment changed everything permanently.
A number of factors including speed, road conditions, the health of the drivers, other distractions and the mechanical condition of the vehicles were ruled out as factors.
Wetten, who testified at the trial, said he didn’t know why his vehicle ended up in the wrong lane and it happened so fast there was no time to brake.
Sentencing arguments started soon after the decision was rendered. Crown counsel is calling for a fine and a driving prohibition.
The sentencing is slated to continue Friday.