On April 13, people will be running/walking in honour of fallen RCMP Officer Cst. Sarah Beckett.
The Town of Port McNeill received a letter from Kathy Martin that stated the Capital Regional District Traffic Safety Commission is organizing a memorial run in Langford in memory of Beckett, who was killed in the line of duty on April 5, 2016.
“Some members of our community are planning to attend this run in Langford,” noted Martin, who added Port McNeill also has “the opportunity to do the run/walk virtually by signing up and doing the five kilometres in our own community. Since Port McNeill was the first post for Sarah and many community members have very fond and respectful memories, we would like to organize a run here.”
Martin stated Port McNeill RCMP Cst. Marcus Croy is taking a leadership role in organizing a local memorial run/walk on April 13 using the existing Rotary Trail and back via Mine Road. “Community members who just want to participate can sign up through the RCMP office and make a small donation at that time. All donations collected will be sent to the commission in Langford.”
To date, 85 community members have signed up, and the organizers hope is that “the Town of Port McNeill will support this endeavor in two ways. First, would the Town be able to cover the insurance cost of $100.00? Second, we would ask that signs be constructed that say ‘Please slow down, community event in progess’ or something like that.”
“I motion that we support the request for the insurance costs,” said Coun. Shelley Downey, which was agreed to by council.
The town will be looking into the cost for generic signage that can be used at all kinds of different events.
Beckett, a 32-year-old mother of two boys, had recently returned from maternity leave when she was killed in the Greater Victoria suburb of Langford in April 2016 by a drunk driver named Kenneth Fenton.
Fenton’s trial heard that his truck was travelling at up to 90 kilometres an hour when it rammed Beckett’s RCMP cruiser at an intersection. He ended up pleading guilty to charges relating to driving with a blood alcohol content of over 0.08 and causing an accident resulting in bodily harm, as well as failing to stop for police.
He was also given a driving prohibition of up to five years to follow after his release.
The court heard that he was speeding away from another police cruiser that had just turned on its lights to pull him over seconds before the crash.
Just over a month after crashing into Const. Beckett’s patrol car, Fenton was involved in another crash that also caused serious injuries, this time to a female passenger.
– with files from Black Press