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

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

MBSS visual art students helped make the Cottage Restaurant’s protective barrier stand out for the summer. (Barry Coulter photo)
Artists give Cottage patio blocks a blast of colour

Mount Baker Secondary School visual art students gave the protective barrier at… Continue reading

Stuart Ashley Jones, 56, was at Grand Forks provincial court for sentencing on May 5, 2021. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks man shot by police during massive flood sentenced to house arrest

Stuart Ashley Jones was shot by a Grand Forks Mountie after ramming two police cruisers in May 2018

SD5 and SD6 have added electric school buses to their transportation fleets. Photo courtesy B.C. Government.
East Kootenay school districts add electric buses to fleets

Two school districts in the East Kootenay are adding an electric school… Continue reading

Two Pileated Woodpeckers sharing the bounty! Kathleen Opal photo
Urban wildlife Part XI: The East Kootenay birds (and others) of 2021

The work of local photographers in the Advertiser throughout 2021. Part XI. With links to Parts I-X

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read