NEWS

Charges against Harjit Lotay stayed in Surrey crash that killed Mountie

03/31/2015 03:11 EDT | Updated 05/31/2015 05:59 EDT
The dangerous driving charges against Harjit Lotay, the truck driver involved in a crash that killed RCMP Const. Adrian Oliver in Surrey in November 2012, were recently stayed and Lotay's name has finally been cleared, according to his lawyer Brij Mohan.

Lotay was in the wrong place at the wrong time and did everything he could to try and help Oliver at the crash scene, Mohan said today as he stood with his client outside the New Westminster court house.

"Whenever a police officer dies in his line of duty it's a big loss to his family, it's a big loss to the entire country," Mohan said. "But let's not forget Mr. Lotay did nothing wrong. His name was vilified because he was just involved in this accident."

Lotay was charged with driving carelessly about a year after the accident and always maintained his innocence.

Charges stayed

The Crown directed a stay of proceedings on March 24 because it concluded that "there was not a substantial likelihood of conviction," according to Neil MacKenzie, communications counsel for the Criminal Justice Branch.

Lotay is very sorry that Const. Oliver died and has cooperated throughout the process, Mohan said.

"Mr. Lotay is also a victim, he suffered very serious injuries," Mohan said, noting he's had two operations on his shoulder, has been seriously depressed, has post-traumatic stress disorder and hasn't worked since the crash.

Asked if Lotay faces other charges, Mohan said he heard through media reports that the federal government might file a civil suit to recover costs of the police vehicle and equipment.

Lotay hasn't been served with any such court documents and, if he is, he will fight them vigorously, Mohan said.

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