Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court where she is charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a 78-year-old woman on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court where she is charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a 78-year-old woman on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Woman on trial for Chilliwack fatal hit-and-run called an ‘unreliable and incredible’ witness by Crown

Trial full of bizarre moments and contradictory statements by 72-year-old Linnea Labbee is now over

The trial of Linnea Labbee charged in the fatal hit-and-run that caused the death of a 78-year-old woman in 2016 wrapped up in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Tuesday (April 6).

“I feel very bad for this family your honour, I really do,” the 72-year-old Labbee said near the end of her final submissions. “But I was not driving the truck.”

Labbee is charged with one count of failing to stop at an accident causing bodily harm for an incident on Dec. 1, 2016 at the intersection of Mary Street and Patten Avenue.

Fourghozaman Firoozian, who was the victim of a 2016 hit-and-run, seen here handing out food to the less fortunate downtown Chilliwack.

There is little doubt that it was Labbee’s truck that killed 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian who was in a marked crosswalk when she was struck by the vehicle.

READ MORE: Crown questions credibility of defendant in Chilliwack fatal hit-and-run case

READ MORE: 73-year-old Chilliwack woman charged in fatal hit-and-run defending herself in BC Supreme Court

Labbee’s credibility was questioned by Crown counsel Joe Saulnier in his final submissions due, in part, to the fact that her claims were either hearsay or not backed up by any witness testimony. Much of what Labbee reported on the witness stand herself was contradictory, some even nonsensical.

“She was an unreliable and incredible witness and her testimony should be rejected in its entirety,” Saulnier told the court.

Labbee’s testimony was that she drove to Southgate Shopping Centre on Yale Road in the morning of Dec. 1, 2016, and that she spent the whole day in the plaza or in adjacent stores in the area.

But Saulnier pointed out that Labbee was first seen on security footage at Southgate at 12:21 p.m., four minutes after the hit-and-run just over a block away. And Labbee withdrew money from her bank account at the CIBC on the corner of Young Road and Princess Avenue at 12:11 p.m., just six minutes before Firoozian was struck and killed.

At the shopping plaza she went into many of the shops, sometimes multiple times. Saulnier suggested this was to try to give herself an alibi, but all witnesses and security footage put her in the location after 12:21 p.m.

As she presented the court with final submissions, Labbee made many nonsensical claims that confounded Justice Brown, including that there were two men who looked different but went by the same name, William McCaulay, who gave different testimony at the preliminary inquiry and the trial. This was simply not true.

“There is no evidence that there is a Mr. McCaulay that testified at the preliminary inquiry,” Justice Brown responded. “He was not available and he did not testify.”

Then there was Labbee’s claim that the “crashing” sound witnesses heard when the victim was struck and killed could not have been from a pedestrian being struck “it had to be done by hitting something big.”

“I believe with all my heart that the grey truck was driving along the road and the blue truck was driving along the road in opposite directions,” she said. “I think they were watching each other and no one was watching the pedestrian. The blue truck and the grey truck hit and the pedestrian got caught in the middle.”

There is no evidence other vehicles were involved in any collision in the area at the time. That and Labbee’s truck not only was missing part of its grill, which was found at the scene, but Firoozian’s DNA was found on her vehicle.

Earlier, Labbee suggested her truck must have been stolen from Southgate, was involved in the fatal hit-and-run, and then was returned to the same parking spot. She repeatedly referred to a “native girl” who was hanging around the parking lot, a slur Justice Brown put and end to on the final day of the trial.

“The ethnicity of this woman has nothing to do with anything,” Brown told Labbee. “Referring to her in that fashion is racist and pejorative.”

But one of the most bizarre moments in the trial was when, on April 1, after several days of claiming she had witnesses to call to the stand but who she could not get a hold of, she finally gave a phone number of one of the witnesses to Justice Brown. The court clerk dialed the number provided, and then Saulnier pointed out that a phone could be heard vibrating in Labbee’s purse.

Labbee then denied her phone was on.

Justice Brown is scheduled to render her decision of guilty or not guilty on April 12 at 11 a.m. If found guilty, the sentence for the crime could range from a conditional sentence up to several years in prison.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
editor@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme Courtfatal collision

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A photo illustration shows a fountain planned for Mill Lake. (City of Abbotsford photo)
UPDATED: City approves $200K fountain for Mill Lake using donated funds

Project will improve lake quality and ecosystem, say Abbotsford city staff

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court where she is charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a 78-year-old woman on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crown seeking jail time for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Trial of Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016 ended Monday

The Abbotsford IHOP, shown here on April 5, is now completely removed. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford IHOP building taken down

Iconic restaurant had been on South Fraser Way for nearly 33 years

Abbotsford's Rick Hansen Secondary School is celebrating Vaisakhi virtually for 2021. (Submitted)
VIDEO: Abbotsford’s Rick Hansen Secondary School celebrates ‘Virtual Vaisakhi’

Production highlights local youth talent in anticipation of the start of annual festival on April 13

The Abbotsford Gogos are inviting local residents to watch a virtual concert in support of African grandmothers. The concert first airs on April 15. (Photo: Abbotsford Gogos Facebook page)
Abbotsford Gogos invite guests to virtual concert to support African grandmothers

Event first airs on April 15, featuring music, dance and storytelling

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

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