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Police recommend charges against officer in fatal collision

VANCOUVER - Almost eight months after the death of a Tsawwassen man in a collision with an off-duty RCMP member, Delta Police have announced it is recommending charges against the officer.

RCMP Const. Benjamin Monty Robinson could be facing charges of impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death. Delta Police, who investigated the incident, submitted their charge recommendations to Crown Counsel on Monday, the department said in a news release Tuesday.

The charge of impaired driving causing death brings with it a maximum penalty of life in prison, but Crown must approve those charges before Robinson is actually charged.

The crash killed Tsaawassen’s Orion Hutchinson. The 21-year-old was thrown from his motorcycle in the collision that one witness described as sounding like “an earthquake.”

Early on, witnesses reported seeing a man leaving the accident scene at the intersection of Gilchrist and Sixth Avenue.

“I looked outside my window and saw a jeep with steam coming out of it,” witness Stephen Slater told 24 hours in October 2008.

“Then a man ran by with a kid in each hand. He had thrown his license to a witness and ran away. He didn’t even check on the guy lying by the stop sign.”

After the fatal collision, Hutchin’s family remembered him as a fiercely loyal man who was enthralled with nature and music.

“It is impossible to encapsualte ina few brief words the astounding complexity of this man’s soul, the intensity of his mind, the depths of his spirit,” Hutchinson’s grandmother, Faye Daly, told reporters at the time.

“However, those who knew him best would probably nod their heads when we talk about Orion’s fierce loyalty and devotion to those who he loved. He would champion them to his death.”

Hutchinson was to have started a new job days after his death.

The 2008 tragedy was the second time Robinson found himself on the public radar. Robinson was one of the four RCMP officers involved in the October 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski, the Polish immigrant who died after he was jolted by a police Taser weapon.

The public inquiry into his death is scheduled to hear closing arguments starting June 19.

Irwin Loy reports for Vancouver 24 hours.

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