Vernon and North Okanagan News
Senior gets fine in vehicular death
A Lake Country senior was fined and given a driving restriction after pleading guilty to hitting and killing a 15-year-old girl in 2010.
George Kozub, 82, did not see Josie Evans as he drove his pickup truck along a rainy and foggy Bottom Wood Lake Road in Lake Country on Jan. 13, 2010, a BC Provincial Court heard Wednesday.
Evans, who was wearing dark clothing and walking with traffic, was struck and killed while walking along the shoulder after school band practice just before 5 p.m.
A Justice ruled that Kozub will have to pay a $1,000 fine and is restricted to driving during daylight hours.
Kozub, who sobbed and held his head down during sentencing, was charged under the Motor Vehicle Act with “driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention.”
“It was a terrible tragedy and so many people got hurt,” he told the court prior to sentencing.
The court found that neither Kozub’s health nor the mechanical state of his vehicle contributed to the collision; however, a wiper blade was noted as being upside down. Kozub had been wearing a temporary eye patch from time to time but wasn’t during the time of the collision. The court did not find problems with his vision.
Josie’s mother, Linda Evans, says although the collision was accidental, she is bothered by the way Kozub handled the situation.
The court found that following the collision, Kozub had called his son immediately instead of police.
“(He) should know better as a volunteer firefighter,” Evans told Castanet following the ruling.
The defence noted that Kozub was a well-respected member of the community, a columnist with the Lake Country View and once a member of a local volunteer firefighting crew.
“Mr. Kozub has not expressed personally to me his remorse; his lawyer didn’t.”
Defence counsel Marty Johnson apologized to Evans during the sentencing; however, he did not turn and look at her as she sat in the public gallery behind Kozub and his family.
The Court Justice apologized to Linda Evans for the lengthy delay in the case, stating it had likely added to her grief.
Linda Evans added that she was not given proper notice that Kozub would be sentenced Wednesday, as he was scheduled to enter into a plea. She said this prevented Josie’s two brothers, who live in Alberta, from attending the sentencing.
“The family really gets cut out of the justice system.”
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