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Coquitlam man charged in hit-and-run deaths of two women

(by T. Crawford, Vancouver Sun)


A 37-year-old Coquitlam man is facing 10 criminal charges, including impaired driving, in connection with the hit-andrun deaths of a Good Samaritan and the woman she was trying to help in Port Coquitlam on Saturday.


Cory Sater was charged in Port Coquitlam Provincial Court Monday with two counts of dangerous driving causing death. He was also charged with one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.


He also faces three impaired driving charges and one count of leaving the scene of an accident that caused the death of an individual. The other charges relate to causing an accident resulting in death and bodily harm.


Sater’s lawyer Tony Serka appeared on his client’s behalf in court. Sater will remain in custody and is scheduled to appear in court March 3 for a bail hearing.


Charlene Reaveley, 30, a mother of four children, had crossed the road to help Lorraine Cruz, 26, and her boyfriend Paulo Calimahin after their SUV struck a concrete barrier just after midnight at the intersection of Pitt River Road and Lougheed Highway.


Reaveley was standing outside the vehicle on the passenger side helping Cruz when a white 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee side-swiped the Pathfinder, killing the two women and seriously injuring Calimahin.


The driver fled. His vehicle was abandoned a few kilometres away, in Cape Horn. Police have not said whether they located him or whether he turned himself in.


Calimahin was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital with leg and head injuries.


RCMP say Reaveley’s husband, who saw the Jeep hit his wife and Cruz, is devastated. The couple’s four children are between the ages of 18 months and 10 years old.


A trust fund in Reaveley’s name has been set up at the Bank of Nova Scotia at 2541 Shaughnessy St. in Port Coquitlam.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was in Vancouver Monday at a media event, expressed condolences to the family on behalf of the government. He noted that Conservative MP Dick Harris had a private member’s bill before Parliament to toughen sentencing for that kind of crime.


On Sunday, more than a dozen bouquets of flowers and a large teddy bear marked the Coquitlam intersection.


A piece of a tail light could be seen next to the concrete barriers, three of which had been shifted by the force of the impact.


A steady stream of friends, family members and strangers stopped by to pay their respects at the growing makeshift memorial.


Meanwhile, Simon Fraser University clinical psychologist Joti Samra said “a number of factors can explain why people would flee the scene of a crime -from immense fear or shock all the way to a more malevolent desire to avoid culpability.”


Samra said she knew few details about the accident or the driver’s state of mind, but noted it’s not uncommon for a motorist responsible for a horrific accident to flee because of emotional distress.


People responsible for tragic incidents can go into a state of shock in which their ability to comprehend what has happened and what they should do becomes impaired, Samra said. With files from Kim Pemberton, Scott Simpson and Doug Ward


© (c) CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.



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