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

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Last year’s flood season stretched from April through early July, as this picture of flooding at Cache Creek park on July 4, 2020 shows. With area snowpacks at slightly above normal, temperatures and rainfall will play a role in determining what this year’s flood season looks like. (Photo credit: Tom Moe)
Snowpacks in area slightly higher than normal as freshet starts

Temperatures and rainfall are critical flood risk factors in coming weeks

The Clinton Annual Ball went ahead in 2020, albeit in a different format and with far fewer guests than usual. (Photo credit: Clinton Annual Ball committee)
Clinton Annual Ball postponed again in 2021, but still carries on

Thanks to some creativity, ball is still the longest continually-held event of its kind in Canada

The 2020 financial statements for Cache Creek show that the village needs to look at either increasing revenues or cutting services in order to maintain a balanced budget. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Cache Creek council advised to increase revenues or cut services

Presentation also shows that continued use of Landfill Legacy Fund for operations is unsustainable

A group of outdoor enthusiasts and heritage buffs learning more about the history of the iconic 1926 Alexandra Bridge during a pre-COVID-19 tour. (Photo credit: Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning)
A group of outdoor enthusiasts and heritage buffs learning more about the history of the iconic 1926 Alexandra Bridge during a pre-COVID-19 tour. (Photo credit: Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning)
Major grant will help refurbish historic Alexandra Bridge near Spuzzum

The 1926 bridge, which last saw vehicle traffic in 1964, is major attraction on Fraser Canyon drive

A deep cut on a humpback whale is shown in this recent handout photo in the Vancouver area. A conservation organization is warning boaters to be extra careful to prevent further harm to an injured humpback whale swimming in the Vancouver area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Ocean Wise, Vanessa Prigollini *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Boaters urged to use caution around hurt humpback off Vancouver

Ocean Wise says watchers first noticed the wound 3 days ago and believe it was caused by a vessel strike

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Most Read