Harold Bierman is incensed that the man who caused the death of his wife has been let off with what he feels is just a slap on the wrist.
Bierman and his wife, Francis, were walking through downtown Duncan on Vancouver Island on July 26 when Francis was struck by a man riding a bicycle at the intersection of the Trans Canada Highway and Trunk Road.
Francis was seriously hurt in the accident and was taken to hospital where she died of her injuries in August.
The man who hit her on the bike went to court in Duncan on Feb. 6 where he was convicted of driving his bike without due care and attention, and was fined $500.
“This man killed my wife and was not charged or convicted of manslaughter of anything else more serious than driving without due care and attention,” Bierman said.
“That’s not nearly enough punishment for the death of my wife and I don’t think justice has been properly served here.”
Brad Tomlin, a Crown prosecutor at the Duncan courthouse, acknowledged that the bicyclist ran a red light at the intersection and was himself struck by a car and lost control of his bike before careening into Francis Bierman.
“The critical issue in this case is that there was no evidence of intent to harm and we didn’t feel we had any possibility of conviction for more than what he was charged with,” Tomlin said.
“We appreciate that Mr. Bierman is suffering at the loss of his wife, but we felt we had no realistic expectation of prosecution on further charges.”
Tomlin said the $500 fine does little to compensate Bierman for the death of his wife, but the Crown is bound by the criteria of the law and the Motor Vehicle Act when prosecuting accident cases.
“We have to come up with a sentence in the range of similar cases and we had to take into consideration that the bicyclist had no history of bad driving,” Tomlin said.
“It was stupid for him to have driven through the red light at the intersection, but he had not planned to hit Francis Bierman and he was quite remorseful about the incident while in court.”