Cyclist killer fined $5,000, given three-year driving ban

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A man who drove into a group of cyclists and killed two men won't be going to jail.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/10/2010 (4419 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A man who drove into a group of cyclists and killed two men won’t be going to jail.

As part of a joint recommendation struck between Crown and defence counsel, he has been fined $5,000 and banned from driving for three years in answer to a charge of careless driving.

Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup said family members of the deceased men didn’t want the driver, Ian Edmond Gibbons, to go to jail.

“They are very courageous, strong and compassionate people,” Lonstrup said yesterday as he outlined the circumstances that led to the recommendation.

Gibbons, 29, was originally charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

He was driving the 2005 Honda Civic that struck a group of four cyclists from behind as they rode along the Trans-Canada Highway near Virden on June 29, 2008.

Daniel Hurtubise, 50, of St.-Bruno-de-Monarville, Que., and Robert Carrier, 45, of Kelowna, B.C., were both killed. Hurtubise’s two children — Sonia,16, and Alexandre, 19 — were both injured, but survived the accident.

The cyclists were riding across Canada to raise $500,000 for diabetes research.

Gibbons was a Virden resident at the time and following the crash he told the Brandon Sun he was driving to Oak Lake to visit friends.

Last week, he was sentenced on the Highway Traffic Act offence of careless driving after entering a plea before Judge Krystyna Tarwid in Brandon court.

The plea was part of a joint recommendation between Lonstrup and defence lawyer Tim Killeen.

Yesterday, Lonstrup said that, as a result of a preliminary hearing, prosecutors determined there wasn’t a reasonable likelihood of conviction on the original driving dangerous charges.

To prove those, the Crown would have to show the accused’s driving was a marked or considerable departure from the standard expected of a reasonable driver.

In this case, the issue was the visibility of the cyclists.

In the end, Lonstrup said, the Crown couldn’t prove they would have been visible to a reasonably attentive driver for a considerable time.

Careless driving, however, carries a lesser standard of proof — it would need to be shown that a driver simply wasn’t paying due attention to the road and traffic on the road.

Gibbons claimed he was distracted as he was adjusting his air conditioning.

There was no speeding, no alcohol or deliberate, reckless driving involved.

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