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Driver charged in fatal crash on Dewdney

Jon Burstynski, cycling at the time, was struck and killed by the vehicle. - The NEWS/files
Jon Burstynski, cycling at the time, was struck and killed by the vehicle.
— image credit: The NEWS/files

A woman suspected of driving drunk has been charged in connection with a crash that killed a Maple Ridge father earlier this year.

Christine Anne Marchand made a first appearance in Port Coquitlam Provincial Court Wednesday on three criminal charges related to the fatal accident.

She faces one count each of impaired driving causing death, causing an accident resulting in death, and dangerous driving causing death.

“This has been a very complex investigation where Ridge Meadows RCMP Traffic Service and Serious Crimes Unit have worked together to prepare a report to Crown Counsel,” said Sgt. Dale Somerville.

“With the matter being before the courts, I will not go into specifics of the case except to say aggressive driving and alcohol involvement were contributing factors, according to our investigation.”

Police allege Marchand was behind the wheel of a white Kia Sportage that struck Jon Burstynski at 3 a.m. on May 24.

The SUV was being followed by a RCMP officer who suspected the driver behind the wheel was drunk.

The Mountie had spotted Marchand speeding in the 23200-block of Dewdney Trunk Road.

According to Ridge Meadows RCMP, the officer was about to stop the SUV when Marchand, 52, lost control and crashed near 243rd Street.

The SUV burst into flames following the crash, but the Mountie quickly put out the fire with an extinguisher from his police cruiser and pulled her out of the driver’s seat.

The officer then realized the SUV had struck a cyclist, who was riding east.

Burstynski, 36, was tossed several metres and landed in a wooded area. The father of three was found by a police dog and pronounced dead at the scene.

Marchand is scheduled to appear in court in January for an arraignment hearing.

She has yet to enter a plea.

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