Eileen Kleinfelder of Chilliwack killed in a crash on the Highway 11 bypass in Abbotsford in October 2012. A cement barrier was later installed on the bypass to prevent similar crashes from occurring. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Another delay occurs in case involving 2012 fatal crash in Abbotsford

Family of Eileen Kleinfelder of Chilliwack frustrated at ongoing court delays

The family of a woman who was killed in a 2012 car crash in Abbotsford will have to endure another delay in the court case for the man charged.

Michael Larocque, 48, appeared Friday in Abbotsford provincial court in what was expected to be a possible sentencing in the case, but the matter was delayed until May 22 for evidence to be heard into whether his guilty plea should be set aside.

Eileen Kleinfelder, 67, of Chilliwack died on Oct. 15, 2012, when she was travelling north on the Highway 11 bypass (Sumas Way) in Abbotsford and was struck head-on by a southbound van that crossed the centre lane.

Larocque was charged in October 2015 with criminal negligence causing death in relation to the crash and pleaded guilty in March 2018 to the lesser charge of dangerous driving causing death.

A sentencing hearing later took place in which both lawyers presented their submissions. All that was left was for the judge to give her ruling on Larocque’s sentence a few weeks later.

But during that appearance, Larocque indicated that he wanted to reverse his guilty plea, and fired his lawyer.

His second lawyer later removed himself from the case, and Larocque is now on his third counsel.

RELATED: Fatal head-on crash on Highway 11 bypass

RELATED: Six years after fatal crash, family frustrated with court delays

Larocque filed his application and an affidavit on Jan. 21 of this year to overturn his guilty plea, and the Crown’s summary dismissal application – to have the plea stand – was heard on Feb. 15.

Larocque was supposed to show up in person for that date, but, when he didn’t appear, the matter was done by phone.

The next appearance took place last Friday, at which time Eileen’s granddaughter, Natasha Weiss, and Weiss’ mom (Eileen’s daughter-in-law), Maureen Kleinfelder, expected that the judge would give her ruling.

If the judge allowed the guilty plea to be set aside, the matter would then proceed to trial. If she didn’t approve the application, then Weiss and Kleinfelder expected that the matter would proceed to sentencing.

But the judge instead indicated that Larocque should have an opportunity to testify in open court about why he believes his guilty plea should be struck.

“Given that the consequences of a summary dismissal of the application are grave, I must be satisfied that a miscarriage of justice will not occur,” she said.

The judge said that Larocque had indicated he wants to change his guilty plea because he “no longer accepts that his driving fell below the standard of care expected of a reasonably prudent person in similar circumstances.”

Larocque and his lawyer said that he does not feel he was given improper advice from his first lawyer when he pleaded guilty.

The judge emphasized that she will not hear any arguments that state otherwise when the matter next proceeds to court on May 22.

She also said she will not allow the hearing to be postponed.

“I’m not going to allow this matter to drag on any further than it has … Anybody whether legally trained or not, looking at this file is going to conclude that this has taken way too long.”

Weiss and Kleinfelder previously expressed frustration at the number of delays in the case, including the numerous times that Larocque has failed to turn up for a scheduled court date.


@VikkiHopes
vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vancouver Canucks playing pre-season game in Abbotsford

Canucks hosting Ottawa Senators on Monday, Sept. 23

Abbotsford water polo talent earns national gold

16U athletes Sarah Portas and Annika Reinfjell help lead Fraser Valley to first

Harrison Hot Springs to consider single-use plastics ban

Village staff will come back to council with a report on what a possible ban could look like

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

BREAKING: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

B.C. high school withdraws notices for temporary dress code

Parents previously told the Interior News they felt there was inadequate consultation over the rules

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Mini-horse visits residents at Lower Mainland care home

Gunner turned a visit with grandpa into a major event for everyone at the residence

Women sue former Vancouver cop over alleged sexual abuse during pimp case

Two women claim James Fisher caused psychological trauma during the Reza Moazami investigation

First ever Indigenous person to join the RCMP to be honoured in B.C.

Hawk Kelly said becoming a Mountie was his dream job as a kid

Mini pinscher at Maple Ridge SPCA needs spinal surgery

Bane has a painful condition known as Wobbler Syndrome

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Most Read