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

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

Just Posted

Fire crews battle a large wildfire north of Highway 1 east of the Yale Road West exit on Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Firefighters battle wildfire in Chilliwack near Hwy 1

Helicopter dropping water on large wildfire in Chilliwack near Yale Road West exit, north of highway

web
Fire breaks out inside Mission Walmart

Customers, staff evacuated as firefighters investigate

Japanese Canadian citizens being transferred into waiting trucks outside Hope Station House. NNMCC L2021-2-1-004. Photographs courtesy of the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre
Fight continues for historic Hope Station House

Ombudsman report and stop work order come alongside district’s move to remove heritage status

Lift equipment is driven away from a fire in an adjacent unit on Industrial Way in Chilliwack on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack firefighters deal with heavy smoke, extreme heat in challenging industrial fire

Crews successful in containing fire to 1 unit in industrial building, adjacent units suffer smoke damage

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

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

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Most Read