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

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.

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Serving alcohol has been altered in the Central Okanagan Public Schools policy regarding rental of school facilities for after-school hours events. (Contributed)
Alcohol option opened up at Central Okanagan school facilities rented for events

Central Okanagan Board of Education retains final approval for after-hours event approvals

Voting day for the upcoming Central Okanagan Board of Education by-election is June 26. (Contributed)
Central Okanagan school board election set for June 26

Kelowna voters will go the polls to fill vacant Kelowna trustee seat

Two bikes that were stolen after a West Kelowna parking garage was looted on April 3. Photo: Crime Stoppers Central Okanagan
Parking garage looted in West Kelowna

A car was broken into and six storage lockers were ransacked

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

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

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Most Read