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Trial underway for man charged in Abbotsford motorcycle crash that killed Maple Ridge woman

Megan Kinnee, 19, died July 13, 2019 after motorcycle rear-ended SUV
Megan Kinnee, 19, was the victim of a fatal motorcycle crash in Abbotsford on July 13, 2018. (Facebook photo)

A man charged in relation to a motorcycle crash in Abbotsford that killed Megan Kinnee of Maple Ridge in July 2018 had a driving prohibition at the time of the collision, a Crown lawyer said Tuesday (Oct. 12).

Rob Macgowan gave his opening submissions Tuesday morning at B.C. Supreme Court in Abbotsford during the first day of the trial for Harrison Heth-Klems, 26, charged with dangerous driving causing death.

Macgowan described the circumstances as a “tragic and immensely sad case.”

Kinnee, 19, was a passenger on a 2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R being driven by Heth-Klems – her boyfriend – on July 13, 2018 at about 7:20 p.m.

The pair were heading east on South Parallel Road near Cole Road when they crashed into the rear of a 2008 Lincoln Navigator occupied by six people.

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At the time, traffic had slowed due to an eastbound collision involving another motorcycle on Highway 1, Macgowan said.

Kinnee was pronounced dead on the scene, and Heth-Klems was taken to hospital with critical injuries.

Macgowan said an autopsy later showed that Kinnee had suffered lacerations to her liver and fractures to her right arm and leg. Her cause of death was “blood loss following blunt-force trauma.”

Macgowan said, at the time of the crash, Heth-Klems was subject to a 20-month driving ban that he had been given only a few weeks earlier – on June 15, 2018.

The ban was issued under the section of the Motor Vehicle Act that says the superintendent of motor vehicles can prohibit a person from driving if they have an “unsatisfactory” driving record.

Macgowan said among those he will be calling to testify are police officers who were on the scene and witnesses to the crash, including the driver of the Navigator.

The driver will testify that he was slowing down for a stop sign and could see in his rear-view mirror that Heth-Klems “was not watching where he was going,” Macgowan said.

RELATED: Charge laid in Abbotsford motorcycle crash that killed Maple Ridge woman

He said also being called to the stand will be a mechanic who will testify that the motorcycle would have been in good working order prior to the collision.

Macgowan said other evidence to be presented includes still images from video surveillance taken at a business on South Parallel Road 1.3 kilometres west of the crash scene, showing both the motorcycle and the Navigator.

The trial is expected to continue until Oct. 27.

At the time of the crash, Kinnee had just graduated from the John Casablancas Institute – a fashion, makeup, hair and beauty school – in Vancouver.

She had been living at home with her family in Maple Ridge, but had been staying with her boyfriend in Abbotsford just prior to the crash.

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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