Man accused in fatal RCMP collision sued over another crash
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Thursday, September 15, 2016 5:09PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 15, 2016 6:32PM PDT
The Langford man accused in a fatal collision that killed an RCMP officer in May is facing a lawsuit over claims that he drove impaired and crashed a vehicle just one month later.
Kenneth Jacob Fenton faces five charges in connection with the April crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett.
He’s now being sued by Megan Ashe, who says Fenton drove her truck while she sat in the passenger seat on May 22.
Her statement of claim says the 28-year-old Langford resident was driving with her consent when he lost control on Goldstream Heights Drive, hitting a rock and causing the vehicle to roll over.
It claims Fenton was negligent because he didn’t keep a proper lookout while driving, didn’t take steps to avoid a crash, drove at an excessive rate of speed, failed to apply the brakes in time and was impaired by alcohol, drugs and fatigue.
He also never told Ashe that he was impaired, the lawsuit alleges.
Ashe claims to have sustained numerous physical injuries including a concussion, a laceration and swelling on her head and injuries all over her body including her neck.
She says she also suffers from headaches, dizziness and psychological injuries as a result.
The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages due to pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the crash.
Fenton has 21 days from receiving the notice of civil claim to respond.
Fenton released from custody without driving ban
Fenton faces five charges in connection with the high-profile crash that killed Beckett on April 5, including impaired driving causing death, flight from police causing death and dangerous driving causing death.
He was taken into custody after the charges were laid Wednesday but released that night on a promise to appear in court, with conditions that include not drinking or doing drugs.
His release has sparked concerns that he’s still permitted to drive despite his involvement in two crashes where drinking and drug use were alleged to have taken place.
But a Victoria defense lawyer says while Fenton does face alcohol restrictions, it’s not unusual that he’d be set free with his car keys.
“They’re presumed innocent until proven guilty,” said Paul Pearson. “So we can’t start punishing people until they’ve had a fair trial.”
Pearson also said the months that it took to secure charges against Fenton show that police have been very careful in their investigation.
“This involved the death of a police officer. They’re going to be really, really careful about everything they do,” he said. “These police do not want someone to not be brought to trial, or not have charges go through, because they made a small mistake.”
Fenton is also accused of driving with a blood alcohol content in excess of 80 milligrams, and refusing to provide a blood sample upon demand by police when he knew, or ought to have known, that his operation of a vehicle caused an accident resulting in death.
As part of his release, Fenton must also report to a bail supervisor, remain in B.C. and surrender his passport.
He’ll make his first court appearance in Colwood on Sept. 29.