April 5/16- A serious motor vehicle incident on Peatt Road at Goldstream Avenue involving RCMP officer Const. Sarah Beckett occurred at around 3:30 a.m. April 5. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)

April 5/16- A serious motor vehicle incident on Peatt Road at Goldstream Avenue involving RCMP officer Const. Sarah Beckett occurred at around 3:30 a.m. April 5. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)

ICBC retracts claim that late Vancouver Island Mountie was negligent in drunk driver crash

ICBC suggested Beckett’s negligence in response to civil court claim

The Insurance Corporation of B.C. is retracting a claim that West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett was negligent when she was killed after being struck by a drunk driver who sped through a red light in 2016.

In an effort to recoup costs of Beckett’s damaged RCMP cruiser, the Attorney General of Canada filed a civil claim against Fenton and his insurer, ICBC, in March 2018.

An ICBC response came about two months later, denying facts in the claim and saying the “sole, proximate and direct cause of such collision and such personal injuries, loss, expense or damage was the negligence of the deceased Const. Sarah Beckett.”

On Friday afternoon, after a request for comment, ICBC said the decision to suggest Beckett was liable for the crash was a mistake.

“We’re deeply sorry,” the statement from ICBC says. “We are taking immediate steps to fix this error. We will be instructing our cousel to amend that defence to admit the defendant is fully liable for this accident.”

Beckett, a 32-year-old mother of two boys, had recently returned from maternity leave when she was killed in the line of duty in Langford.

Kenneth Jacob Fenton was handed a four year prison sentence in July, 2017 for charges of impaired driving and dangerous driving causing death.

READ ALSO: Driver convicted in death of Const. Sarah Beckett granted partial parole

Beckett was killed after her police cruiser was struck by Fenton’s pickup truck which was speeding through the intersection of Peatt Road and Goldstream Avenue.

Fenton’s blood-alcohol level was three-and-a-half times the legal limit. He was already being pursued by an RCMP officer in a different police vehicle because his taillights were not illuminated and he was travelling almost double the 50 kilometre per hour posted speed limit.

ICBC accused Beckett of “failing to keep a proper or any lookout,” “failing to see the defendant’s motor vehicle at a reasonable time,” “failing to give warning by sounding the horn,” and other allegations of neglect.

In the response, ICBC said Beckett had a duty of care to Fenton and to others using the highway.

“The act of colliding with the vehicle operated by the defendant, Kenneth Jacob Fenton, and owned by the defendant, Kenneth Jacob Fenton, was a breach of that duty.”

A statement from West Shore RCMP Insp. Todd Preston said the detachment is aware of the civil suit and the response filed by ICBC.

“On our end we remain deeply affected by the loss of our friend and respected colleague, Sarah,” Preston said. “The timing of this story coming out so close to Christmas leaves myself and the membership of West Shore RCMP saddened.”

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A member of the Vernon Search and Rescue winch helicopter team pulls a skier who broke her leg at the gorge backcountry area east of Sicamous into the helicopter on Friday March 5. (Shuswap Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Search and rescue helicopter helps injured skier out of Shuswap backcountry

The Salmon Arm woman broke her leg, but was helped out of the bush thanks to radio communication.

SASCU is looking to celebrate its 75th anniversary with a legacy project, in the same way the Shuswap credit union marked its 60th by commissioning the apple sculpture at its downtown location. That artwork includes 14 apples honouring SASCU’s founding families. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap credit union to mark 75th anniversary with legacy project

SASCU will be looking for input from arts community, city

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)
Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Fire ripped through a mobile home on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna on March. 6. (Phil McLachlan - West Kelowna News)
‘My whole life just went up in smoke’; Fire consumes Okanagan mobile home

RCMP confirmed that there were no injuries due to the fire

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Most Read