Editor's column: The Richmond story I hope we stop having to write

So here we go again with another Christy Mahy story, published by reporter Alan Campbell Jul. 29. I’ll be so glad when we stop doing these. But we won’t stop — at least not until something is resolved.

As you may remember (and as Alan Campbell reminds you in his story) Christy Mahy was the young woman who was standing with her bike at an intersection on Russ Baker Way when an SUV lost control, jumped the curb and slammed into her, killing her instantly.

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That was in 2014.

The driver stayed at the scene and there were numerous witnesses, so, as far as a police investigation goes, you’d think this would be a slam dunk.

It’s also hard to see how the driver wouldn’t be somehow accountable, given that Mahy wasn’t even on the road when she was hit. Granted, there may have been some kind of serious defect with the vehicle to make it veer off course, although that’s never been mentioned.

So here we are, five years later, and we finally have some news: The driver has been named and charged.

Granted, this is big news and may inch us closer to understanding just what happened. The catch is, the suspect has long left the country. In fact, he left soon after the accident — which he was entirely free to do, even if he possibly was the cause of a young woman’s death. Because the police didn’t charge him at the time, his passport was good. There was talk he went to the U.K., but it’s unclear where he is now.

In terms of moving the case forward, the question is: Will the prosecution seek extradition to have the suspect stand trial here in Richmond? Unfortunately, we don’t have the answer to that ­— but not for lack of trying.

The BC Prosecution Service told us it cannot comment on the extradition matter and passed us on to the Federal Department of Justice. The Federal Department of Justice said about the same: “Extradition requests are confidential state-to-state communications. Therefore, we cannot confirm or comment on the existence of such a request.”

We were referred to numerous government documents, one of which stated that news of an extradition cannot be made public until after the suspect has been arrested. Perhaps they don’t want to give the suspect a heads-up. That’s understandable, but there are too many other aspects of this case that are anything but.

Namely, why was the driver allowed to leave Canada in the first place? And why did it take five years to charge him? It doesn’t seem any new information was brought forward.

I say all this knowing that Richmond’s RCMP spokesman may well be biting his tongue, frustrated that he can’t give the Mountie’s side of the story for fear of jeopardizing the investigation. In time, we may learn that there were entirely justifiable reasons for everything. But at this point, it’s hard to feel reassured. Too much time has gone by and too little information has been forthcoming.

Nothing will change the ulitimate ending of this sad story, but a grieving family still deserves answers. Until they get them, see you here next year, same place, same time.

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