Charges still under consideration for driver in fatal crash

Father of two Brian Patchett, 22, was killed Sept. 23 during the collision on Vye Road in Abbotsford.

The scene of the crash that killed Brian Patchett on Sept. 23.

The scene of the crash that killed Brian Patchett on Sept. 23.

It could be several more weeks before charges are laid against the driver of a car that crashed on Vye Road in Abbotsford, killing father of two Brian Patchett on Sept. 23.

Const. Ian MacDonald said police are still considering the evidence and consulting with Crown counsel on what charges should be laid.

Patchett was a passenger in the back seat of a 1997 Chevy Malibu that was heading west on Vye Road, west of Sumas Way, at about 2:30 a.m. when the vehicle struck a concrete barricade, then a hydro pole and flipped onto its roof.

Patchett, 22, was pronounced dead on the scene, and a woman who was also in the back seat was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

The male driver and the female passenger in the front of the car were treated for minor injuries.

MacDonald said alcohol and speed were suspected as factors in the crash. The results of toxicology tests, as well as evidence from police collision reconstructionists, will be considered in determining the next step.

“There is no doubt we will be bringing charges forward,” he said.

Depending on the results, the driver could face such charges as impaired driving causing death or dangerous driving causing death. The driver cannot be named until charges are laid.

Meanwhile, MacDonald said police are alarmed that young people are continuing to drive recklessly.

Police are still investigating whether speed was a factor in the crash last Saturday in which a 24-year-old motorcyclist died after he collided with a commercial truck on Downes Road, just east of Bradner Road.

On Wednesday, Sept. 26, police impounded the vehicles of three young men in separate locations around town.

The first involved an 18-year-old in a 2002 Honda Civic who was stopped on Highway 11 going 135 km/h in an 80 km/h zone at about 4:45 p.m.

Just over an hour later, a 28-year-old man in a 1998 Honda Civic was clocked doing 100 km/h in a 30 km/h playground area on Old Yale Road near DeLair Road. MacDonald said the driver blew three times the legal limit for alcohol.

Then, at 9:25 p.m., a 21-year-old driver with an “N” (new) driver designation was stopped on Chehalis Drive in a 1996 Pontiac. He proved to have alcohol in his system, although the legal limit is zero for new drivers.

The “N” driver had his vehicle impounded for three days, and the other two faced seven-day impounds.

MacDonald said also disappointing is the number of drivers who continue to use electronic devices. Last Tuesday afternoon, police issued 30 tickets to drivers during an enforcement blitz at the intersection of Marshall Road and Sumas Way.

Most of those were for the use of electronic devices, and MacDonald said police are perplexed about why people continue to talk and text on their cellphones while driving.

“It’s hard to imagine why people can’t get a relatively cheap hands-free device if they want to talk on their cellphones,” he said.