The April 5, 2016 crash that killed West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett continues to be on the minds of many West Shore residents.
A day after Kenneth Jacob Fenton pleaded guilty to two charges relating to the early morning collision at the intersection of Peatt Road and Goldstream Avenue, including impaired driving causing death, Langford residents weighed in on how the incident has impacted the community over the last year.
“We all grieve over Mrs. Beckett because she was a wonderful woman with a wonderful family and she was doing a wonderful thing for our community. I pray for the police all the time,” said Louise McCarthy.
“Every time I drive by the corner at Peatt Road and Goldstream, I know. I look over there sometimes and I see that corner and I know,” said Rob Fisher.
More than a year since the collision, Fisher still recalls where he was the morning of the crash.
“I took the bus at 5:30 in the morning that morning and we knew something was up. At the end of the day I knew what happened and I came home and sure enough there’s flowers at the police station,” he said. “It’s sad because it didn’t need to happen.”
Bodhi St. Jean works as a taxi driver and knows how dangerous the roads can be in the middle of the night. He was pleased to hear that the case didn’t need to go to trial.
“I feel really bad for the family having to wait so long…I was glad to see it be resolved with a guilty plea. I think a trial would have been very painful and drawn out,” he said.
West Shore RCMP declined to comment on the plea as the matter remains before the courts. However, Staff Sgt. Raj Sandhu, speaking as a private citizen and not on behalf of the RCMP, told reporters on Thursday that it was a “tough day” for him as a friend and supervisor of Beckett.
He added that he believes Fenton should be held to a higher level of accountability given that his actions killed a police officer.
Beckett’s family has requested privacy.
Fenton is due in court on June 6 in Victoria, where a date for sentencing will be set.
The maximum sentence for impaired driving causing death is life imprisonment.