Debbie Dyer, whose daughter Beckie was killed in a car crash in Pitt Meadows, stands outside B.C. Supreme court in Vancouver Dec. 12, 2014.

Debbie Dyer spent Friday morning in suspense.

She woke early after a nearly sleepless night to watch a live webcast of the proceedings taking place in Ottawa at the Supreme Court of Canada. There, lawyers for the woman accused of driving dangerously and killing Dyer’s daughter argued that Andelina Kristina Hecimovic’s acquittals in the case should stand and a new trial should not be held.

For two hours, she sat through the submissions of Crown and defence.

“I was a little worried at some points in time, but I had a good feeling from the start,” Dyer said during a telephone interview from her Pitt Meadows home. “I kept on thinking, “We just need a majority.’”

The panel of seven judges left the courtroom and deliberated for about 20 minutes, then returned to announce that they had decided to dismiss the appeal.

“That happened so fast I wanted to press rewind, but I couldn’t because it was live. I started shaking and crying,” Dyer said.

“I’m elated. At least we get another kick at the can.”

Hecimovic was found not guilty in 2013 of two counts of dangerous driving causing death in connection with the 2010 crash in Pitt Meadows that killed 21-year-old John De Oliveira and his girlfriend, 19-year-old Beckie Dyer.

The Crown appealed the decision, alleging that the trial judge made a legal error. In December 2014, in a 2-1 decision, the B.C. Court of Appeal set aside the acquittal and ordered a new trial. Hecimovic appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, and the court heard the appeal on Friday.

Shortly before midnight on Oct. 19, 2010, De Oliveira was driving with Beckie Dyer on Lougheed Highway when Hecimovic’s Toyota Paseo skidded sideways over the top of the concrete median, flipped and smashed into the roof of De Oliveira’s vehicle.

The couple were killed on impact, according to police. Hecimovic, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Hecimovic testified at trial that she had been driving to her boyfriend’s home after a difficult nursing shift at Eagle Ridge Hospital when the crash happened. She said she was upset and did not notice that the lane she was travelling in was a right-turn-only lane or that she was entering an intersection on a red light.

Dyer said the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to dismiss the case and allow the new trial to go ahead is a milestone on her family’s long journey through the justice system.

“It doesn’t bring Beckie and Johnny back, but what happens if it were to happen to somebody else? (An acquittal) would set a precedent for someone to use this case as a standard for not being held accountable for their actions,” Debbie said.

Hecimovic’s next appearance in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster is scheduled to take place in January.

— A toy drive and fundraiser has been organized in memory of Beckie Dyer and John De Oliveira. It takes place on Nov. 25 at Samz Neighbourhood Pub (19267 Lougheed Hwy., Pitt Meadows) starting at 6 p.m. Advance tickets are sold out, but tickets will be available at the door. Attendees are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy that will be donated to Cythera House, which will also be the beneficiary of funds raised during the evening.

Source: The Province


Last updated on: 2015-11-20 | Link to this post