Chilliwack man pleads guilty in 16 Avenue road death

A Delta man died after a three-vehicle crash on Oct. 29, 2012, which was caused by a man fleeing from police.

A 29-year-old man has pleaded guilty to flight causing death in connection with a police-involved crash that killed a 47-year-old Delta man on 16 Avenue in 2012.

The driver, Devon Laslop of Chilliwack, was charged with flight causing death and dangerous driving causing death as well as driving while prohibited.

At a preliminary inquiry held on Oct. 22 in Surrey Provincial Court, Laslop pled guilty of the one charge of flight causing death. He will be sentenced March 9, 2015. On that same day, he will be sentenced for driving while prohibited.

Laslop fled a police road check and then crashed into two vehicles at an intersection at 16 Ave. and 240 Street around 5:30 p.m., on Oct. 29, 2012. He was prohibited from driving at the time.

Victor Melo Duarte, a beloved father and husband, was killed instantly when the driver of a pickup truck who was fleeing from police, hit another vehicle, which in turn hit Duarte’s vehicle.

Because police did pursue the fleeing vehicle for a short distance, the Independent Investigation Office was called in to investigate whether the Langley RCMP’s action contributed to the fatal crash.

Two police vehicles pursued the truck, with emergency lights on, travelling more than 100 km/hr on a 60 km/hr road.

But according to the IIO report, the lead vehicle discontinued the pursuit in 36 seconds. The officer deciding to pull over and turn off the lights instead, judging the pursuit as fruitless.

Less than three minutes later, the collision took place, leaving Duarte dead and Laslop seriously injured, said the IIO report.

This was the first investigation in Langley conducted by the IIO.