Driver fined $115 for violation that killed motorcyclist
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. - A central Alberta man has been fined $115 for a traffic violation that killed a motorcyclist.
Brett Bardenhagen, who is 26, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Rocky Mountain House court.
He was charged with making an unsafe left turn last September on a road in Clearwater County.
Bardenhagen was pulling his truck into a driveway when 54-year-old William Tomlinson hit the passenger side with his motorbike.
The courtroom was filled with emotion as Tomlinson's wife and his three daughters read their victim impact statements.
The fine was the maximum the judge could impose under the Traffic Safety Act.
Tomlinson's wife, Linda, says she'd like to see some kind of deterrent or changes to driver education to make people be more aware of motorcycles on the road.
"The bottom line is people aren't watching for the bikes... a moment of inattention changes so many lives," she said after court.
When Linda first heard what the charge was and the punishment, she couldn't believe it.
But Linda Tomlinson said the Crown prosecutor prepared her for what would happen in court. She was told police couldn't lay a dangerous driving charge because there has to be a pattern.
"Am I happy with it? No. Is there anything I can do about it? Not unless we change the dangerous driving law and get it so it would work for left-hand turns."
Two of Tomlinson's daughters spoke about being sad that their 54-year-old dad was not there when they graduated this spring -- one from university, the other from high school.
The other daughter was thankful for having him walk her down the aisle a year ago, but her future children won't have a grandfather.
"There's a hole in the life -- what he did, someone else has to fill," Linda said.
She said her husband was a plumber who loved his family and friends and also loved to ride.
"He was out in the tractor always the first part of spring cleaning off the road because we live on an acreage so he could get his bike out."