Opinion

Editorial — Recent events are additional tragedies for Leduc family

The tragic case of Andrew Leduc, struck and killed on the Langley Bypass on Aug. 9, 2013 by a semi-truck driven by a Surrey RCMP consultant, who then fled the scene, has been made even more tragic and unexplainable by a series of recent events.

One is that, after an almost year-long investigation, no charges are being laid in the hit and run death. The crash happened in the 19500 block of the highway, on the Surrey-Langley border. It was the early hours of the morning, and it was dark. The consultant, who had been working with Surrey RCMP in recreating a fatal crash that took the life of an RCMP officer in Surrey in November, 2012, was likely tired after a long day, and was driving a large vehicle.

According to Surrey RCMP, he was unaware that he had actually hit a person until he later examined the truck, and discovered evidence of such a collision. Police had put out a public notice asking for information on the vehicle that struck and killed Leduc by this time.

The length of the investigation  is perhaps understandable, given that it was important that the police officers doing the investigation had no personal involvement with this consultant. That type of arm’s length approach is absolutely necessary in a case of this type.

It would be better if the Independent Investigations Office had done the investigation, as its purpose is to keep any possible bias out of criminal investigations. However, the legislation which set it up allows it to investigate the actions of police officers, but not consultants doing work for police.

The second tragedy is that police and the B.C. Coroner’s Office made life unnecessarily complex for the Leduc family by refusing to release his name, even when pressed to do so by the media. Why? The family had no problem with the release, and it would have helped them communicate news of the tragedy to those who knew Andrew Leduc.

Neither Surrey RCMP nor the coroner’s office has yet to give a satisfactory answer as to why his name has been withheld for almost a year. In the absence of any explanation, it is not surprising if members of the Leduc family and others conclude that it appears to be a coverup of some kind.

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