Restorative justice an option in case of scooter rider death

Oak Bay police investigators awaiting crash report from Saanich

It could be months before charges, if any, are laid against a 90-year-old driver who police say struck a 70-year-old Oak Bay man in a mobility scooter Dec. 28.

Anthony Soulsby suffered severe head injuries and was rushed to Victoria General Hospital, where he died a few days later.

Oak Bay police are handling the investigation, but are awaiting a report from the Saanich police crash analyst, said Oak Bay Deputy Chief Kent Thom.

Witnesses reported that Soulsby was driving his scooter across Chaucer Avenue at Foul Bay Road when the woman, who was turning left onto Chaucer, collided with him.

“We have to get that accident reconstructionist report before we can send the whole package off to the Crown for recommendations,” Thom said.

The case has drawn comparisons to a similar incident that happened back in September 2010.

Patricia Taylor, then 79, struck pedestrian Johanna Heisler, 82, of Oak Bay, who was in a crosswalk on Beach Drive at Bowker Avenue.

Taylor, who had not been drinking, nor was she speeding, was ultimately charged with driving without due care and attention under the Motor Vehicle Act.

The case dragged through the court in 2011, with a number of postponements. Eventually Taylor pled guilty to the charge but the restorative justice process was used, bringing together the victim’s son, the driver’s family and witnesses.

Restorative justice may be an option for the Soulsby family if Crown counsel approves charges, Thom said.

“There’s actually a lot of similarities between this collision and that one, but there are different circumstances.”