RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – A man who hit and killed a cyclist in Richmond two years ago has been sentenced to a one year driving ban and $1,800 fine, but will not face any jail time.
Michael Fan pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention in the death of Bradley Dean on Nov. 6, 2016.
Dean was out with a group of friends for a Sunday morning bicycle ride around 10 a.m. when a car, driven by Fan, heading in the opposite direction swerved into their lane and ran them down. Two other cyclists were also severely hurt. Fan pleaded guilty to the charges, which fall under the province’s Motor Vehicle Act.
Fan admitted he was out partying with friends on Saturday and may have fallen asleep at the wheel.
Dean’s mother, Lianne, held a framed photo of her son as she read her victim impact statement in court Tuesday. She told the court the loss of her son has been psychologically grueling.
“It really should have been tried as a criminal case as opposed to a traffic violation,” she said outside the Richmond courthouse following the sentencing. “The Crown has let us down and the only winners are Micheal Fan and the Crown, who got their conviction.”
The Crown sought a one year driving prohibition, while the defense sought a lower penalty on the grounds that Fan has no criminal record, dreams of perusing a career as an occupational therapist, volunteers within the community, and has shown remorse for the crash.
“There is no criminal code offence for driving while impaired by fatigue,” said Alisia Adams with BC prosecution services. “The criminal code offence that may be considered in this kind of circumstances would be dangerous driving causing death, but in order to obtain a conviction of dangerous driving, the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused driving was a marked departure from the standard of care of a reasonable person in the same circumstances.”
In a statement read by his lawyer, Fan said he will be “forever haunted by your loss,” that he thinks back to the crash every day, and has not yet forgiven himself for what happened.
Fan did have three other driving related offences, including a speeding ticket and failure to produce his license.
During sentencing, the judge questioned why Fan got into his car in the first place, saying the moment he began to drive, he exhibited an inappropriate driving pattern because fatigue impaired his judgement.
“I thought the judge was very thoughtful in his decision making, but I think he was handcuffed by the charges that the Crown laid,” Lianne said. “There’s evidence that we will never see because this didn’t make it to criminal court, and I regret that. I do not feel safer.”
In court, Fan sat motionless throughout the proceedings with his eyes and head facing down. In his sentence, the judge noted Fan did not look up or acknowledge the friends and family of Dean as they read their victim impact statements.
Dean’s family does not believe Fan has shown remorse for his actions. They pointed to photos posted on social media by Fan one year after the accident which show Fan and his friends dressed as gang members. Beneath Fan’s eye is a single painted tear drop, similar to the tattoos worn by gang members to symbolize the number of people they have killed.
“I don’t believe his apology was sincere,” Lianne said.
The family says they aren’t sure what they will do next, but have not ruled out a civil case.