No jail time for driver responsible for two fatalities

Steven Lineker, whose inattentive driving led to two fatalities in Mission, will not serve jail time.

A Mission man who rear-ended another vehicle, causing the death of two people, will not see jail time, the Abbotsford provincial court decided on Thursday.

Steven Lineker, 36, was sentenced to a $2,000 fine and an 18-month driving prohibition.

On Oct. 16, 2010, Lineker had rear-ended a Chevy Cavalier on Lougheed Highway, between Manson Street and Dewdney Trunk Road. The Cavalier had stopped to make a left turn. The vehicle ended up being pushed into the opposite lane, where it collided with a Mazda Protege.

Anthony Shaves, 33, the driver of the Mazda, was killed, as was Lenore Hopkins, 76, the passenger of the Chevy. The driver of the Chevy survived only after spending months in a coma in a hospital.

Crown counsel Wayne Norris argued at the sentencing hearing on Sept. 20, 2013, that Lineker was distracted. He presented phone records that showed that Lineker made several calls in the few minutes surrounding the collision.

Defense lawyer David Forsyth argued that Lineker was using a legal hands-free bluetooth device for the calls.

Norris had recommended a sentence of a jail term of four to six months, a $2,000 fine, and a four-year driving prohibition.

The defense had recommended a fine, a driving suspension, and probation. The defense had acknowledged that if the judge felt a jail term was in order, then 10 to 21 days would be sufficient.

Norris said after the sentencing that the lighter final sentence of a $2,000 fine and an 18-month driving ban is appropriate given the evidence released during trial.

Under the evidence presented, Lineker was eventually sentenced for being inattentive, rather than causing the death of two people and injuring a third.

“There is a distinction between ‘dangerous driving,’ and ‘driving without due care and attention.’ The ‘dangerous driving’ has a much greater mental element to it,” said Norris.

“In this case, the evidence disclosed that he was simply being inattentive. We started out with charging him ‘dangerous driving causing death,’ but as trial proceeded, the evidence simply did not unfold as we had anticipated. In the result, the charge had to be changed to (Section)144 of the Motor Vehicle Act, which, on the evidence, is the correct charge.”

For a charge of ‘dangerous driving’ to hold, evidence of dangerous driving would need to have been found prior to the accident, and not during or after the collision had occurred.

The result of this trial is in keeping with other similar cases not only in B.C., but across the country, said Norris.

“It’s very few cases where jail is actually given for this kind of offence,” said Norris.

One of the deceased, Lenore Hopkins, had become a prominent member of the Fraser Valley community for having organized the Fraser Valley Toy Run. The annual event, now in its 27th year, has hundreds of motorcyclists ride across the Fraser Valley to collect donations of toys for the Christmas Bureaus. The event has been proceeding in Hopkins’ memory since her death.

Lineker declined to address the court when offered the opportunity to do so by judge G.J. Brown before the sentence was passed.

akonevski@abbynews.com
twitter.com/alinakonevski

Just Posted

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat greets fans outside of the Abbotsford Centre prior to the Canucks exhibition game against the Ottawa Senators in 2019. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
More jobs posted for Abbotsford AHL team

Five new opportunities accepting applicants, Comets forward Lukas Jasek signs in Finland

Singer Ben Cottrill performs during the 2019 Arty Awards at The Reach Gallery Museum, the last time the event was held in person. Cottrill received the award in the performing arts category. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Nominations now open for 2021 Arty Awards

Annual event hosted by Abbotsford Arts Council, with ceremony Sept. 25

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read