Lucy Phua was an academic advisor at Thompson Rivers University. She died after being hit by a pickup truck while crossing the street at University Drive on Nov. 15, 2019. (Facebook)

Lucy Phua was an academic advisor at Thompson Rivers University. She died after being hit by a pickup truck while crossing the street at University Drive on Nov. 15, 2019. (Facebook)

B.C. man behind wheel in fatal collision gets $2,000 fine, driving restrictions

David Tucker, 43, is to pay a $2,000 fine and go 18 months without driving – except for work and certain errands

-Kamloops This Week

A Kamloops man who was behind the wheel of the pickup truck that struck and killed Thompson Rivers University employee Lucy Phua more than a year ago has had his driving privileges restricted.

David Mathew Tucker, 43, pleaded guilty this week to one count of driving without due care and attention, under the Motor Vehicle Act, in connection to the Nov. 19, 2019, collision. Phua, 54, was struck and killed that night as she was walking to TRU via a crosswalk at McGill Road and University Drive.

Justice Ray Phillips accepted a joint submission on sentencing from defence lawyer Daniel McNamee and prosecutor Frank Caputo that will see Tucker pay a $2,000 fine and serve an 18-month probation term prohibiting him from driving except for work and running certain family errands. Tucker is employed by a local landscaping company, which involves him having to drive around town for work.

Court heard Tucker had a couple of drinks after work and was leaving a liquor store at the Landmark development when the crash took place at about 5:30 p.m., after sunset, on Nov. 19, 2019.

While turning left onto McGill Road Tucker’s truck struck Phua, who was walking in the same direction — north — from the Landmark development, where she lived.

Lights from an oncoming vehicle were said to have been in Tucker’s eyes as he made the turn into the intersection, striking Phua and running her over.

McNamee told KTW when Tucker initially struck Phua, he believed his vehicle was having a mechanical issue and continued driving forward. He soon realized what happened and stayed at the scene to render assistance and co-operated with police.

Police at the scene noticed Tucker’s eyes were watery and smelled alcohol on his breath, but when he was given a breathalyzer test, he blew in the warn range, which is under the legal limit 0.08 blood-alcohol level, but likely above the 0.05 warning limit.

Tucker was given another breathalyzer test at the downtown Kamloops RCMP detachment, which again registered below the legal limit. There wasn’t evidence to support a criminal charge of impaired driving and Tucker was charged under the Motor Vehicle Act.

McNamee said Tucker is very remorseful for what happened and apologized in court to Phua’s family in Singapore and her spouse, Gar Childs, who was in court for the verdict.

“The whole thing was a very emotional sentencing,” McNamee said. “It’s a very tragic case on all fronts because nobody wants to be the one who gets hit with the car or whose family member gets hit with the car, but nobody wants to be the one who accidentally does that, either.”

McNamee said Tucker was guilty of negligence for not checking the intersection and was punished on that basis. The exceptions to the driving restriction, he said, are to ensure Tucker’s family isn’t impacted by a punishment intended for him. No alcohol-related restrictions were given in the probation order.

McNamee noted the severity of the decision, as Tucker received the maximum fine for the offence.

In 2017, a bus driver was fined $1,000 and handed a nine-month suspension of his licence for driving without due care and attention when he caused an accident on the Coquihalla Highway near Merritt in 2015, injuring nearly 40 people.

Phua’s death sparked an online petition seeking safety upgrades on McGill Road. City officials last fall unveiled a strategy for improvements along the corridor that could lead to lowered speed limits and lighting upgrades.

fatal collision

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Village council saw an application to build a seven foot fence around a 3rd Ave. property in Nakusp. (Jocelyn Doll-Revelstoke Review)
Village of Nakusp sees application for seven foot fence

Council raised concerns about curb appeal

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Tala MacDonald, a 17-year-old student at Mount Sentinel Secondary who is also a volunteer firefighter, has won the $100,000 Loran Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
West Kootenay student wins $100K scholarship

Tala MacDonald is one of 30 Canadians to receive the Loran Scholarship

Kristian Camero and Jessica Wood, seen here, co-own The Black Cauldron with Stephen Barton. The new Nelson restaurant opened earlier this month while indoor dining is restricted by the province. Photo: Tyler Harper
A restaurant opens in Nelson, and no one is allowed inside

The Black Cauldron opened while indoor dining is restricted in B.C.

First-year Selkirk College student Terra-Mae Box is one of many talented writers who will read their work at the Black Bear Review’s annual (virtual) launch on April 22. Photo: Submitted
In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
80-million-year-old turtle find on B.C. river exciting fossil hunters

Remains of two-foot creature of undetermined species will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Wildfire fanned by winds near Merritt prompts evacuation alert

BC Wildfire Service says the suspected human-caused blaze was fanned by winds

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
National fitness group condemns unlicensed Kelowna gym’s anti-vaccine policy

The Fitness Industry Council of Canada says Flow Academy is shining a negative light on the industry

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Most Read