Driver behind crash that killed Kamloops teacher pleads guilty | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Driver behind crash that killed Kamloops teacher pleads guilty

A memorial was set up nearly two years ago at the place where Robert Peterson died.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
August 09, 2016 - 10:41 AM

KAMLOOPS - The driver involved in a crash that killed a prominent Kamloops music teacher will pay a $1,800 fine and could have his license taken away.

Jordan Jones, 26, pleaded guilty today, Aug. 9, in Kamloops Provincial Court to driving without due care or attention. On top of an $1,800 fine, the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles will review if a driving prohibition should be placed on Jones.

Court heard that on Nov. 15, 2014, Jones was driving westbound on Springhill Drive and was attempting to turn left into his townhouse complex.

Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan says Jones saw two vehicles coming down the hill and correctly assessed that he had enough time to make the left turn.

Flanagan read parts of Jones's statement to the police directly after the incident. Jones said the sun had been in his eyes and he didn't see a cyclist coming down the hill.

The cyclist was Robert Petersen, a beloved music teacher at St. Ann's Academy and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School.

Petersen was riding his bike eastbound on Springhill Drive, close to the sidewalk. But Jones never saw him coming.

Petersen collided with the rear passenger side of Jones' car, court heard. The Kamloops teacher came off of his bike, sending him further down the road.

Jones and others at the scene immediately stopped and assisted Petersen until emergency responders arrived.

Flanagan told the court that Petersen was taken to hospital but died a short time after his arrival.

Jones was born and raised in Kamloops and knew Petersen personally.

"I would just like to say this is a tragic event. I could never imagine how the family must feel," Jones told the court through tears. "I'm just very sorry. I don't know what else to say."

Judge Stephen Harrison told Jones he appreciated this was on his mind every day.

"A relatively small driving error can have such tragic consequences," Harrison said.

Flanagan and defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen entered a joint submission of a fine between $1,500 and $2,000 and asked Harrison to leave the driving prohibition up to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.

"In my view that range is appropriate," Harrison said. "There will be a fine of $1,800."

— This story was corrected at 11:50 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 to change the word traffic to tragic in a quote.

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