By Tim Petruk, Kamloops This Week
A commercial trucker whose rig struck and killed a teenaged cyclist near Chase more than two years ago pleaded guilty to speeding during an appearance Friday in Kamloops provincial court.
Bhulinder Singh Rai was handed a $500 fine in connection to the Aug. 9, 2014, crash that killed 16-year-old Owen Michael.
Court heard a police expert determined the 32-year-old driver’s vehicle was travelling at 132 km/h in a 90 km/h zone.
However, according to Crown prosecutor Monica Fras, Michael was heavily intoxicated at the time, riding his bike home from a house party. Fras said the highway on which Michael was cycling was dark, noting a passerby called 911 to report an intoxicated cyclist prior to the fatal crash.
“Based on the evidence, this collision appears to be something of a consequence that occurs,” Fras said. “But this is only in relation to the speeding allegation.”
Defence lawyer Eric Rines said his client has been working as a professional driver for a decade.
“He considers himself a very conscientious driver,” Rines said. “He was very much affected by this incident himself.”
Kamloops provincial court Judge Roy Dickey called the incident “unfortunate,” but noted the only offence committed was speeding.
“It is simply a speeding ticket and nothing more than that,” he said.
Rai has one month to pay the fine.