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Edmonton man fined $2,000 for unsafe turn that killed cyclist

The Vancouver Sun: Edmonton man fined $2,000 for unsafe turn that killed cyclist

BY ALEXANDRA ZABJEK, EDMONTONJOURNAL.COMDECEMBER 2, 2009

EDMONTON — A former Edmonton bylaw officer was fined $2,000 and given a three-month driving suspension for making an unsafe left turn that killed a cyclist.

Provincial Court Judge Peter Ayotte rejected Francis Grosvenor’s claim that the light signal showed a green arrow when he made a left turn from Groat Road to 111th Avenue on Aug. 29, 2008 around 7:30 p.m.

Ayotte said he believed the evidence of two other witnesses who claimed the light was a solid green. He was also satisfied there was oncoming traffic when Grosvenor made the turn.

“The Crown has demonstrated Mr. Grosvenor attempted to make a left turn when it could not be completed safely,” Ayotte said.

Two witnesses also testified they could see the cyclist, Sandor Baracskay, moving slowly through the crosswalk on his bicycle before the collision occurred.

Grosvenor testified that he performed routine checks before driving through the intersection but did not see the 77-year-old cyclist, who was moving south on Groat Road.

Baracskay died in hospital four days after the collision.

Grosvenor, now 33, was driving a city bylaw car when the collision occurred. He has since left his job as a bylaw officer who was contracted through a security company. He was charged under the Traffic Safety Act four months after the collision.

While Grosvenor’s defence lawyer argued that Baracskay himself had violated traffic regulations by riding his bicycle through the crosswalk, the judge found that was not a defence for Grosvenor.

The Crown asked for three months in custody, plus a $2,000 fine for the offence. The judge noted that jail time is not typically handed down for such traffic violations.

He ordered Grosvenor to pay a $2,000 fine, a $300 victim fine surcharge, and suspended his driver’s licence for three months.