An Abbotsford man has been found not guilty of a 2015 hit-and-run that killed a 61-year-old cyclist.
Kerry Froese was acquitted on March 13 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster of failing to remain at the scene of a fatal accident.
Ronald James Scott was killed when he was struck by a vehicle while cycling along Mt. Lehman Road on the night of Jan. 29, 2015.
His body was spotted around 11:20 p.m. By that time, Scott was already dead, and blood had pooled under his head. The wheel of his bike was in the middle of the road, and other debris littered Mt. Lehman Road.
The vehicle that struck Scott was nowhere to be seen.
In June 2015, police announced that they had located a grey 2013 Ford Expedition with significant front-end damage on a property on Huntingdon Road and that a “person of interest” had been identified.
In May 2016, investigators announced that Froese, a chicken farmer, had been charged in relation to Scott’s death.
On the opening day of Froese’s trial in January, Crown counsel Rob Macgowan said the case would centre on the question of whether Froese was behind the wheel at the time of the collision.
Froese was the general manager of the company that owned the vehicle and was the vehicle’s principal operator on insurance documents.
The company that owned the SUV, Triple F Enterprises, was owned by Froese’s parents.
This was the second time that Froese was charged in relation to a fatal crash.
In 2011, he pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention in the 2008 death of Trevor Dueck, 18, and was given a six-month driving prohibition.
The Abbotsford News reported at the time that Dueck had been riding his dirt bike south on the grassy shoulder of the 1000 block of Gladwin Road, when he slammed into the passenger side of Froese’s 2006 Ford F350.
The teen died at the scene.
Froese had initially been charged with impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, and impaired driving, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.
– with files from Tyler Olsen