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Report ‘shocking’ says victim’s brother
The Surrey RCMP consultant who hit and killed Andrew Leduc hosed off blood on the bumper of the semi he was driving, hours before calling police to report he likely hit someone.
This is revealed in the report released by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner on Tuesday.
The Leducs were first to get a copy.
The Commissioner reviewed the criminal investigation into the driver, agreeing with Surrey RCMP major crimes that there is no evidence to conclude the driver knew he hit and killed anyone. No criminal charges are being sought.
“Reading this report, there are a number of shocking reasons why this man should have been charged and yet here he is, not even with a motor vehicle ticket,” said Andrew’s brother Adam.
The report notes that the statute of limitations has expired. If the man were to be charged with any motor vehicle infractions, it would have had to be within six months of the incident.
The investigation took eight months to complete.
“This guy hosed off the evidence on the truck. I was told he didn’t tamper with any evidence and then I get this report saying otherwise,” said Adam.
The police investigation reveals that the Surrey RCMP consultant was driving along Langley Bypass at 3 a.m., coming from working with Surrey Mounties in recreating another crash, when he saw what he thought was a rolled-up sleeping bag on the road.
In fact, it was Andrew bending over in the curb lane.
He claims he couldn’t avoid hitting the sleeping bag, so he hit it and felt a bump. He slowed to look in his mirrors, wondering if in fact it was a person but when he couldn’t see anything, he kept driving.
This evidence of seeing him slow down before driving away is consistent with evidence from a security guard, who saw everything and called 911.
The driver claims he got to a storage yard in Mission to drop off the borrowed semi, but when seeing the blood and tissue stuck on the truck he knew he hit a person or animal.
He washed it off, he said, because he didn’t want to leave it for the owner to clean up.
“Based on the available evidence, I am of the view that there is not a reasonable basis to believe that [the driver] had knowledge that he had collided with a person and had departed the scene with the intention to avoid liability,” concludes OPCC Commissioner Stan Lowe in the report.
“The lighting conditions at the time of the collision were further compromised by the misaligned headlights on the tractor. Furthermore, the likelihood of encountering a person bent over in a lane of traffic in that particular stretch of roadway at that time of morning was very remote and may have contributed to the driver’s mistaken belief at the time of the incident.”
Since the collision took place within the jurisdiction of the City of Surrey, the investigation was taken over by the Surrey RCMP team that happened to be the same team that had just completed the re‐enactment involving [the Surrey RCMP consultant.]
His statement of when he felt a small impact on the bumper:
“I just, I just kept on going, I did, I checked the mirrors and there was nothing of a, around (Inaudible). The big thing I was thinking of was, did I miss something in terms of was, if there was a pedestrian that fell down or a drunk for instance, I don’t know... but if they’re lying on the, on the, in the middle of the lane...if there’s somebody that was somebody, obviously I don’t know the circumstances even though right?”
The driver also stated that he returned the tractor to the yard around 4 a.m.
His cellphone battery was dead, so he drove home, but stopped for a coffee and to get gas before calling Langley RCMP.
Meanwhile, police had issued a media bulletin asking for help in locating the driver of a blue bobtail semi-truck.
By mid-morning, they had said they had located the truck and the driver.
The report said they interviewed the driver at 1:21 p.m.
No one knows why Andrew was walking in the middle of the road. He had been seen at the nearby Husky gas station just prior to that. He appeared drunk but the toxicology report said he had methadone in his body, not alcohol.
Two other vehicles swerved to avoid hitting Leduc.