After days of local and national outrage, ICBC apologized on Saturday, December 21st, for claiming that Const. Sarah Beckett was at fault when drunk driver Kenneth Fenton collided into her police cruiser in April 2016.
“Our customers and staff live and work in the Western Communities, and we appreciate the impact this tragedy has had for all of you,” said ICBC President and CEO Nicolas Jimenez. “We know that people are grieving the loss of Constable Beckett and we are sorry that we have added to that pain.”
Const. Beckett, 32, was killed in the early morning hours of April 5th, 2016, when the marked police car she was driving was struck by Fenton’s pickup truck in the intersection of Peatt Road and Goldstream Avenue.
ICBC’s initial litigation approach in May 2018 included details like Beckett’s failure to see Fenton’s truck and her failure to honk at him as reasons why the Constable was responsible for the crash.
Once those arguments were reported late last week, the public responded with a new wave of sadness and anger regarding the callousness of ICBC’s claims.
“On our end we remain deeply affected by the loss of our friend and respected colleague, Sarah,” said Inspector Todd Preston, Officer In Charge of West Shore RCMP. “The timing of this story coming out so close to Christmas leaves myself and the membership of West Shore RCMP saddened.”
On Saturday, ICBC CEO Jimenez said that procedures regarding insurance claims would be revisited in the wake of the news.
“We are instructing our counsel to immediately amend the defence to acknowledge Mr. Fenton is fully liable,” Jimenez said.
“I acknowledge that none of this can undo our mistake and the pain it has caused, but I hope my unreserved apology provides at least a small measure of consolation to Constable Beckett’s family and to your community.”
Files from Brishti Basu