Westshore RCMP officer not charged after IIO investigation into Beckett case

Westshore RCMP officer not charged after IIO investigation into Beckett case

Cst. Sarah Beckett. File photo

The Westshore RCMP officer who tried to pull over Kenneth Jacob Fenton’s truck before the crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett will not be charged, the BC Prosecution Service announced Tuesday. 

Beckett, a 32-year-old mother of two, died on April 5 after her RCMP was struck by a pickup truck at Peatt Road and Goldstream Avenue in Langford. Another Mountie, who has not been identified, unsuccessfully tried to pull over Fenton’s pickup truck seconds before the crash. 

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO), which investigates all police-involved deaths or serious injuries, filed its report to the Crown counsel in February. It had started its investigation into the incident days after the crash, focusing on the actions of the unidentified officer. The IIO does not make a recommendation on whether charges should be approved. 

“In this case, the BCPS has concluded that the available evidence does not meet the charge assessment standard for approval of any charges against the police officer in connection with the incident,” the BC Prosecution Service said in a statement. 

The BC Prosecution Service said the reasons for not approving the charges will be made public after Fenton’s sentencing hearing. 

On May 25, Fenton pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing the death of Beckett. Court heard his blood alcohol level was 3.5 times the legal limit. 

READ MORE: Impaired driver who killed West Shore Mountie described as hard worker and excellent father

Fenton was driving drunk when his pickup truck was seen by an RCMP officer, who saw the truck had no tail lights showing, according to an agreed statement of facts read during Fenton’s sentencing hearing. The officer turned on his lights, but not his siren, then followed the truck southbound on Peatt as it approached Goldstream.

Fenton sped up, but not due to the police car. When he saw the police lights in his review mirror, he took his eyes off the intersection where the light was red. Fenton was going between 76 and 90 kilometres in a 50 km/h zone. He only used his brakes for a second before hitting Beckett’s car, which was going east. 

The court also heard the RCMP officer’s vehicle did not go above 63 km/h. 

A decision on Fenton’s sentencing is expected Friday. 

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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